India Photograph Album, focused on people at work, women of different castes, marketplace scenes; a tour by an American couple.
Ca. 1920. Hardcover. A wonderful large album of 127 photographs, each captioned, depicting the everyday life of people in the streets, villages and country side; these are authentic images of real life in India at the time. Also includes images of Bombay and the Palace at Amber. The photographer is unidentified; possibly an American couple on an Indian tour.
The majority of the photographs concern life in India, from people at work in a wide range of trades, to women of different castes, to wonderful marketplace scenes including children at play, holy men, wrestlers and traveling artists.
40 images of rural India include: native houses, village streets & centers, a potter at work, village shops, village "bazarrs" (sic) showing all manner of sidewalk vendors and stalls, village wells, women walking to market with large baskets carried on their heads, holy men, sweet and bread sellers, selling "pop" soft drinks from a cart, burial of a distinguished person, "a bride and her maids pay visits to relatives, part of the 3 day wedding ceremony".
11 images titled "Women of India" show Hindu, Jain and Mohammedan women, women spinning, women carrying goods stacked on their heads, women with children, and high caste women.
28 images of Indian men include an image title rather mysteriously "rural native police, English Providence", porters, young boys, high diver, gate keeper, cook, shoe mender, snake charmer, street musician, clown, traveler, traveling artist, traveling school teacher, tobacco seller ("by the puff"), holy men of India "fakirs", wrestlers, and a transvestite, the image titled "an efeminate (sic) gentleman (Indian man dressed in a sari).
21 images of the stunning Amber Palace and Fort in northwest India, the oldest surviving palace in India, built of red sandstone and white marble, whose architecture shows a blend of Muslim and Hindu influences. Images include walls and grand entrances, ceremonial elephants, stunning interior views of the palace and its rich alabaster carvings, and views of the surrounding landscape taken from the Palace walls. The Jas Mandir is also pictured; this is the most beautiful structure at Amber, divided in three parts: the Hall of the Private Audience on the ground floor, the Glass Palace, and the Hall of Glory on the upper floor.
Next is Bombay, with 15 images: a native policeman, 2 colonial police officials, the harbor, Bombay city streets (including shots of a large double decker tram), the "red light" district, Hindu Caves at Garapuri and Elephanta Island (interiors of the carved caves), and vultures ("who devour the Parsi's dead in the Towers of silence").
12 images titled "Travel in India" include an elephant with howdah for carrying passengers, ox drawn carts, horse drawn carts and carriages, railway carriages (including one with a train door marked "Servants"), a train station and a colonial postal box.
A large photograph album, 15 x 11 1/2". Black stiff cloth covers, cord bound. Hand lettered "No. 5" at upper left corner front cover. Images measure 5 1/2 x 3 1/2", laid down 3 or 4 per page, with captions hand lettered in white. The first 2 leaves detached, loosely inserted. The photographs in fine condition.
An album of evocative images of the life experienced by Indians living in colonial India. Images probably taken by an American, as soda is referred to as "pop", harbor is spelled without the "u", and the album itself is made in the USA. Very good condition. Item #23852