Two pairs of chairs and a settee carved in ivory, once part of a suite of furniture commissioned by the Mani Begum - widow of Mir Jafar, Nawab of Murshidad features in "A Connoisseur's Collection" auction by Sotheby's scheduled here on December 4.

"Made in Murshidabad, the furniture purchased by Hastings passed into the collection of the Earl of Lonsdale and from there, in 1967, they made their way into a private collection which is currently being sold to benefit a major charitable foundation," the auctioneers said in a statement.

Some of the other pieces from the suite are currently in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

While the pair of armchairs has been pegged to fetch between 150,000-250,000 pounds the settee has been estimated to go under the hammer for 100,000-150,000 pounds.

Procedure for the auction is set to go to benefit a major charitable foundation said the auctioneers.

"The items represent a rare opportunity to acquire an exquisite example of the very best decorative arts from the Indian subcontinent, showing the cross cultural fertilization of that historical period and an important document of the diplomatic relations between Indian rulers and the British Empire," said the auctioneers.

A George I gilt-gesso bureau-cabinet and a group of furniture that can be confidently attributed to England's most celebrated cabinet-maker, Thomas Chippendale also features in the auction.

Apart from furniture and decorative arts 18th-century British paintings are also on offer.

The star of the show is pegged to be painting of a King Charles Spaniel by George Stubbs, which is accompanied by a group of drawings by Thomas Gainsborough, four of which were formerly in the collection of the Earls Spencer at Althorp. A painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds completes the selection of works from some of England's greatest artists.

Additional highlights include a commode from Mayhew and Ince, silver candlesticks made for Catherine the Great of Russia and a Chelsea porcelain.


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