Drawing thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Drawing

late 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This calligram in the form of a lion was one of a group bought by Colonel Thomas Holbein Hendley, resident surgeon of the East India Company in Jaipur, when he visited John Lockwood Kipling in Lahore in 1880. Hendley was instrumental in setting up the City Palace Museum, or Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and visited Kipling in order to seek his advice about his project. He collected various specimens of calligraphy in the form of birds and animals which he reproduced in an article in the new Journal of Indian Art, including this one.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Drawn and painted in ink on paper
Brief Description
Drawing, calligraphy in the form of a lion, in ink on paper, Lahore, late 19th century
Physical Description
Drawing, in black ink on paper, calligraphy in the form of a lion.
Content description
Calligraphy in the form of a lion, the Qur'anic text had-al-Ali.
Marks and Inscriptions
Gallery Label
CALLIGRAPHIC LION Ink on paper Lahore c. 1880 IM.14-1916 Given by Col. T. Holbein Hendley, CIE This is a true calligram, in which the shape formed by the letters is connected to the words themselves. The lion’s body contains the Arabic prayer of Shia Muslims called the Nadi Ali, or ‘Call unto ‘Ali’. In his role as a universal hero for Muslims, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad is also known as Haydar (lion) and Asadullah, or ‘Lion of God’. The prayer may be translated: ‘Call unto Ali – He that makes wonders appear/ Thou shalt find Him thy help in distress/ Every care, every sorrow shall be dispelled/Through Thy Trusteeship, ‘Ali! ‘Ali! ‘Ali!’ (August 2017)
Credit line
Given by Col J. Holbein Hendley, C.I.E.
Object history
Owned by Thomas Holbein Hendley. See letter of Hendley to Caspar Purdon Clarke, December 31 1915 on NFMA/1/H1596, Hendley Family, where he notes that these were from 'the bazaar' and are the originals of those published by him and Chaubey Bisvesvar Nath of Jaipur in the Journal of Indian Art. Several of the calligraphic birds and animals reproduced in the Journal are signed and give their place of origin as Lahore, or the Lahore bazaar.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This calligram in the form of a lion was one of a group bought by Colonel Thomas Holbein Hendley, resident surgeon of the East India Company in Jaipur, when he visited John Lockwood Kipling in Lahore in 1880. Hendley was instrumental in setting up the City Palace Museum, or Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and visited Kipling in order to seek his advice about his project. He collected various specimens of calligraphy in the form of birds and animals which he reproduced in an article in the new Journal of Indian Art, including this one.
Bibliographic Reference
Chaubey Bisvesvar Nath, and Colonel T.H. Hendley, 'Callgiraphy', Journal of Indian Art, vol. XVI, No. 124, plate 12, no. 5
Collection
Accession Number
IM.14-1916

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record createdSeptember 18, 2002
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