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Arts & Crafts ....
Reproduced from :
Begum Hazrat Mahal
In Papier Mache

By a Staff Reporter
Monday, August 9, 1976
Begum Hazrat Mahal in Paper Mache - 1976

Photo Courtesy : shamsison.com

        LUCKNOW, Sunday - Reclining on a richly upholstered divan sat the beautiful Begum Hazrat Mahal. There was a sad wistful look on her face. Placed on a footstool near her was a 'hookah'. One end of the hookah's pipe was in her hand but she was not smoking - she seemed lost in thought.

        It all looked so real that it was difficult to believe that the woman in front was just a doll - made by Shamsul Hasan, a renowned doll maker of Lucknow.

        What prompted the artist to choose Begum Hazrat Mahal as a subject ?

        During the First War of Independence in 1857, the Begum was synonymous with the freedom struggle in Lucknow as Rani Lakshmi Bai was with Jhansi said Hasan.

        He felt that this was one way he could preserve the memory of a great lady of Lucknow of the bygone days.

        Hasan who is a self artist and who has been making dolls for the past 25 years and runs a doll making centre in Chowk, said that he had done a careful study of old paintings of the Begum before he set out to make her image.

        The result is that he has produced a very authentic and realistic statue, down to the minutest details regarding the jewellery and costume of that period.

        The statue, made of papier mache, was completed in three months. The costumes jewellery and other accessories were assembled by the artist's wife. Some cement had to be added to the papier mache to make the statue long lasting.

        Mr. Hasan has also made a life-size statue of "Ghalib", which had been ordered by Begum Abida Ahmed, wife of the President Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed.

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