Item #4505227 An archive of watercolours and lithographs centred on the Lind family in India. Alexander Francis LIND, Charles D'OYLY.
An archive of watercolours and lithographs centred on the Lind family in India.
An archive of watercolours and lithographs centred on the Lind family in India.
An archive of watercolours and lithographs centred on the Lind family in India.

An archive of watercolours and lithographs centred on the Lind family in India.

Patna, India: circa 1820-1830.

Oblong quarto album, with lithograph portraits tipped-in, some printed by Charles D'Oyly at his private Behar Lithographic Press; several original paintings loosely housed in a separate folder; and three fine watercolours each approx. 230 x 185 mm, framed.

India and Australia in the 1820s: the Lind family Archive

A fascinating archive of watercolours and lithographs, the latter from the Behar Lithographic Press, chiefly dating from the mid-1820s, and centred on the Lind family. This is an extraordinary collection, redolent of the age, and testament to the early connections between India and Australia in the 1820s.

A fascinating archive of watercolours and lithographs, the latter from the Behar Lithographic Press, chiefly dating from the mid-1820s, and centred on the Lind family. This is an extraordinary collection, redolent of the age, and testament to the early connections between India and Australia in the 1820s.

The collection includes three fine, framed watercolours on wove paper, together with a contemporary oblong half-calf album with lithographs and original watercolours pasted down on the album sheets, the pages of the album watermarked 'Eyehorn Mill. 1824'; together with a third smaller group of additional works loose in a separate folder.

This fascinating group of related watercolours and Indian-produced lithographs centres on the family circle of Alexander F. Lind, including portraits of two of his young children who emigrated to New South Wales in the years after their father's premature death. The archive was put together in the mid-1820s as a treasured keepsake of the Lind family's life at their property Kumperpore House, Futtehpoor, the main house of which is depicted in great architectural detail in two of the hand-coloured lithographs and in two watercolours; one clearly signed and dated C. d'Oyly, 10 May 1826.

Alexander Francis Lind (1797-1832) was the youngest child and only son of James Lind, the famous and well-travelled medical doctor, boon companion of Sir Joseph Banks. James Lind, although still often confused with his namesake (and relation) who worked on a cure for scurvy, was one of those who had planned on joining Banks for Cook's second voyage, chosen in part because of his experience on two East India Company voyages in the 1760s. His son Alexander married Anna Maria Macan (1802-1862) when they were both young, and was soon appointed to a prominent position in India, where they had a large family before his premature death in 1832. After this catastrophe the family retrenched in England, but his eldest daughter and eldest son soon emigrated to New South Wales: Margaretta Lucy Lind to Port Macquarie before settling in Uralla in New England, Francis Macan Lind being based in Sydney, where he married Portia, the daughter of the prominent soldier and engineer George Barney (ADB).

In India, the Lind family was a key part of the circle of the famous amateur artist Sir Charles d'Oyly (1781-1845), a "social group which was very conscious of drawing and painting as a sophisticated amusement" (Archer) and which gained prominence for the very early adoption of lithography. D'Oyly's contemporary, Bishop Reginald Heber, called him "the best gentleman artist I have ever met with" and the artworks of the d'Oyly circle provide remarkable documentary evidence of the everyday life and social history of both English and Indian families. The inclusion of interior décor and children's toys alone would mark the d'Oyly lithographs out as an important source of social history, let alone the very detailed depictions of dress and even coiffures.

Given that the d'Oyly lithographs are a remarkable resource for the entire colonial era, it is significant that recent research is starting to reveal that the Lind family may have introduced the process to d'Oyly, rather than the other way around (Losty).

The watercolours in the collection are exceptional works. Firstly, there is a matched pair of portraits identified as painted by Charles d'Oyly: Alexander Lind posed at his ease next to a very delicate writing desk that show him to be a writer and artist; and his wife Anna in a simple but elegant gown, surrounded by the paraphernalia of a watercolourist, her portfolio propped up against the small table. A third watercolour depicts a family group. This is Alexander and Anna Lind with their three eldest children, Margaretta Lucy (1818-1882), shown holding a remarkable panoramic view on a cylinder, Elizabeth Charlotte (1820-1886) and the first boy, Francis Macan (1822-1879). The painting must therefore date to around 1823, given the relative ages of the children depicted.

This is followed, soon after, by a painting signed and dated by d'Oyly on 6 April 1824, showing a striking Indian nurse holding a European infant. Given the date and the known history of this collection – not least that d'Oyly had no children of his own – the hypothesis must be that this is their fourth child Emma Gosset Lind, who had been born about ten weeks previously. The building glimpsed through the open door is almost certainly the same building painted by d'Oyly as the subject of the fifth watercolour in the group, painted on 10 May 1826: the distinctive green shuttered windows and red tiled roof are unmistakable, and must be part of the estate.

These dates are firmly supported by the physical evidence of the accompanying album, the sheets of which are laid paper manufactured by the Eyehorn Mill in Kent, 1824. That is, this album would have been completed on or a little after that date – given the time needed for the paper to reach India – as a beautifully-arranged family album.

The presence of these d'Oyly watercolours highlights the close connection the Lind family had with Sir Charles d'Oyly (1781-1845), seventh Baronet. A long-serving official in India who published widely on Indian customs, field sports and ornithology, d'Oyly was a keen amateur artist and friend of the painter George Chinnery. He really established his name with his Antiquities of Decca (1814) before founding, in 1824, an amateur art society which he named "United Patna and Gaya Society" or "Behar School of Athens", with the objective of "the promotion of Arts and Sciences" and "the circulation of fun and merriment of all descriptions." The d'Oyly house in Patna was considered the "epitome of Anglo-Indian taste" (Rickard, in Broadbent).

The present album is a representative group of the sort of subjects dear to d'Oyly's heart, not only including a series – often named and identified – of lithographic portraits of the European community of Patna, but also including an equally substantial number of Indian men and women, most of them prominent local figures but one man from as far afield as 'Cabul.' Even despite the pioneering studies of Archer and Losty, work on Indian lithography is still in its infancy, but albums such as the present one represent a treasure trove for researchers, especially into two of the key Indian artists who worked at the Behar Lithographic Press Jairam Das, a Patna artist trained in the Mughal tradition, and Shiv Dayal.

Similarly, one of the more remarkable aspects of works such as these is the way in which the Indian scene they chronicle constantly reveals connections to the colonial scene in Australia as well. One of the lithographs here, for example, is signed James Prinsep del, brother of the Augustus whose widow published the illustrated Journal of a Voyage from Calcutta to Van Diemen's Land (1833).

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A full listing of the various watercolours and lithographs:

Album watermarked 1824

Engraving - Sir Isaac Newton

D'Oyly lithograph - portrait of an Englishman in Indian dress

D'Oyly lithograph - portrait of Englishwoman in Sari & jewels (dated 1828)

D'Oyly lithograph - Meer Jaffier Silah portrait of Indian gentleman

Behar Lithograph by C.W.Smith - Rajah Meetarjest Sing (written in ink), portrait

D'Oyly lithograph - Mertha Kullflaun Beg portrait of Indian man

D'Oyly lithograph - Family portrait of Englishwoman, 4 children & Indian maid (dated 1829)

D'Oyly lithograph - A Native of Cabul, portrait

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of Englishwoman in finery (dated 1829)

D'Oyly lithograph - Family portrait of Englishwoman, 2 children & dog (dated 1829)

Silhouette in ink - female

D'Oyly lithograph - Giulio Cesare di Caravaggio M.A. Portrait of Roman Catholic priest

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman (dated 1829)

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of Englishman - mariner/artist? seated at table with chart, compass and maritime picture on travel easel.

D'Oyly lithograph - Khajee Wullee Mahomud ….. Major of the Governor General's Body Guard. Portrait

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman seated at table with book & flowers.

D'Oyly lithograph - Nawaul Mendy Koolli Khan. Portrait

D'Oyly lithograph - Oodeet Narain Singh. Rajah of Benare. Portrait

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman in Indian dress

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of Indian gentleman

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English gentleman seated at table surrounded by bookshelf, statue, artist palette, fishing rod, unfinished letter, ink quill and reading a magazine. (dated 1830)

D'Oyly lithograph - Fancy Dress. English woman dressed in fancy dress/finery

D'Oyly lithograph - Khajee Hossain Allykhan. Portrait of Indian gentleman

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman seated at table holding sketchbook/album, larger album on the floor at her feet with the initials 'ME'. Ink pen in her right hand and another on the table.

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman and child, indian doll/toy at their feet.

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman seated with book in hand (dated 1830)

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman seated in finery holding a garland of flowers (dated 1830)

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of English woman seated holding baby, dog at her feet

D'Oyly lithograph - Portrait of Indian girl draped in sari holding a bird

Drawing - pencil (colour) sketch of ships

Drawing - unfinished pencil sketch (horse & tree)

Loose pieces

1. Behar Lithograph by James Prinsep/D'Oyly - A Benares Nautch 1826. Hindoo dance scene. Verso 2 miniature w/c scenes with embossed borders.

2. D'Oyly original watercolour - Indian maid holding English baby (dated 1824)

3. D'Oyly original watercolour - House and grounds with workers in garden, dated 1826.

4. D'Oyly lithograph - A Nautch. Hindoo dance

5. Watercolour - A North W view of Kumberpore House, Futtehpoor, the seat of A.F.Lind Esq

6. Watercolour - A South West view of Kumberpore House, Futtehpoor, the seat of A.F.Lind Esq

7. Watercolour - Portrait of Juliet, shakspeare quote below, after Tilghanan

8. Watercolour - maritime scene, English ship and native vessel near shoreline. Unsigned.

9. Lind, J - Ink & wash. Pair of English ships anchored in harbour, signed bottom right

Three framed watercolours

The family portraits illustrated online

Provenance: The family of A.F. Lind, who settled in Australia.

Abbey; ADB; Archer, Company Drawings in the India Office Library (1972); Bayley, A biographical, historical, genealogical, and heraldic account of the house of d'Oyly (1845); Broadbent (ed), India, China, Australia (2003); Getty (online); Losty, 'Sir Charles D'Oyly's Lithographic Press and his Indian Assistants,' in Rohatgi and Godrej (eds), India: A Pageant of Prints, pp. 144-146; Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; Yale Centre for British Art (online).

Condition Report: Album in original boards in worn condition, pictures fine and well preserved.

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Condition Report