Pratap Chand was probably a banker or contractor in Calcutta who helped the British during the Pindari or Maratta Wars of 1817-1819. Francis Rawdon-Hastings (1754-1826), 1st Marquess of Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal and Commander-in-Chief of forces in India from 1812 until 1821, probably rewarded him with a title and sword to which the letter in the painting refers.
Hutchisson was active in Bath around 1815, and made the trip to Calcutta in 1824, remaining there until 1842. Various paintings by him of Indian subjects are known; in 1836 he visited Murshidabad and several of his portraits of Nawab Nazim Humayun and members of his household were still in the Palace at Murshidabad in the 1960s. Hutchisson exhibited a portrait of 'Munoo of Benares' at the Royal Academy in London in 1839 (no. 1072).
PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 18 November 1970, lot 53 (£500 to P. Twining).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 14 May 1998, lot 76 (£15,000), where acquired by the present owner.
About William Henry Flerio Hutchisson
1815-1861, Bath, United Kingdom, based in Bath, United Kingdom