(21 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches). Half-title. Mounted albumen print frontispiece after an engraving by Langlès, letterpress title with integral mounted oval albumen print vignette "from life", 76 mounted albumen prints (comprised of 30 views by Biggs and Loch "from life", and 46 after drawings) 1 hand-coloured lithographed map, 1 tinted lithographed plan, 12 wood-engraved illustrations. Expertly bound to style in half brown morocco over period green pebble-grained cloth-covered boards, spine with raised bands in six compartments, lettered in gilt in the second, glazed yellow endpapers A scarce complete copy of a celebrated very early photographically-illustrated study of the Mughal architecture of Bijapur. Between 1854 and 1855, Captain Biggs, of the Bombay Artillery, was appointed first official photographer to the Bombay Presidency. As a member of the Bombay Photographic Society he had been equipped with a set of Ross's single and double lenses and a kit which allowed him to make 15 x 12 inch pictures. His task was to photograph the Islamic buildings, sculpture and inscriptions of Western India. The preface to the present work notes that "The Government of Bombay has at various times taken steps towards portraying . the magnificent architecture with which the Presidency and the territories bordering it abound . [From 1854] Biggs and [later] Dr. [William Henry] Pigou were employed to take photographs [of the architecture] at Beejapoor, and in Dharwar and Mysore." Biggs made over one hundred paper negatives of Bijapur, Aihole, Badami and other sites in Western India. The results were exhibited at the Photographic Society of Bombay and much admired, but the increasing unrest, which culminated in the Mutiny of 1857, forced him to hand over his work to surgeon and fellow photographer Dr. Pigou. The preface continues: "Subsequently, a series of plans and drawings of Beejapoor, which had been prepared under the superintendence of Captain Hart, were published for the Government under the editorship of James Fergusson". In 1865, at the request of the Governor of Bombay a committee was set up and given the task of publishing the photographs of Biggs, Pigou and a third photographer A.C.B. Neilly "in the form of a comprehensive series of volumes on the Architectural Antiquities of Western India" (preface). The present work is perhaps the most impressive result of this ambitious enterprise. In an interesting early example of what amounted to "corporate sponsorship", the cost of production of the present work and two other companion volumes was underwritten in the amount of 1000GBP for each work. "This volume is thus under the patronage of Mr. Kurosondas Madhowdas, and "Mr. Premchund Raichund" undertook to fund the two companion volumes. Both sponsors were Jain businessmen and natives of Guzerat. Gernsheim, Incunabula of British Photographic Literature 333. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Architecture at Beejapoor, an Ancient ...
Publisher: John Murray
Publication Date: 1866
Binding: Large folio
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