Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya

Black Buck and the Doe

Mughal; Late 17th century CE

15.281

Though not very uncommon, the black buck or the Indian antelope with dazzling colour and spiraled horns is often portrayed by the Mughal artists. It is the most beautiful of all the varieties of antelopes and is considered a sacred animal in northern India.

The black buck with a dark brownish black coat is strutting behind the fawn coloured doe, throwing his head upwards till his horns almost touch his back. The artist has not failed to paint his face glands, widely opened at this time of his rut period in February or March. The doe walking ahead is also enjoying the same mood. Both of them carry their neck straps with a ring in front to chain them when required. Fine anklets provide delicate adornment to the female for the delight of the master or the onlooker.

There is an elaborately decorated Qita on the reverse by Nishat Muhammad.

The verse is a prayer for the welfare and good health of the king.