Posted on: 21 November 2013

Man feeding an elephant. Single-page painting mounted on detached album folio. Man feeds elephant chained to a post; sparse green-yellow background; red border outlined in gold and containing scrolling leaf design. No text.
Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper.

Mughal Style
Mughal dynasty
1620 (circa)

Depending on its size, each elephant in the royal Mughal stable had between two and five servants responsible for its care and feeding. In the reign of Akbar (1556-1605), 101 elephants were chosen for the emperor's use. In addition to grass and leaves, they were fed a mixture of sugar, butter, rice and sometimes milk spiced with chillies and cloves.

© Trustees of the British Museum

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Beautiful beast.

this might be sadhukar...


Or it could be "Hawai" - that grand elephant which Hemu fell off & then Akbar brought him into his filkhana. Akbar knew all his hundred+ elephants by name - Gajpati, Ran Bhirun, Chitranand, Udiya, Ran Bagha etc.