Title: Scrapbook and Sketchbook of "Indian Scenes"
Publisher: c. 1850
Publication Date: 1850
Book Condition: Very Good
Half calf and marbled paper, "ALBUM" gilt-stamped in calf label on upper board; 13 x 10 in.; approx. pp. 200, about half full with original drawings and paintings, plus tipped-on articles and illustrations from numerous (unknown) sources. Likely compiled in England in the early 20th century. Boards rubbed, chipped along top edge; corners bumped. Devoted to India and -- perhaps inevitably -- Britain's presence there, this strange album features beautiful engravings of landscapes and scenes in India, and caricatures and cartoons (primarily dealing with the colonialist's experience, and some a bit lacking in good taste) -- all culled from unknown books, newspapers, and magazines. Additionally, and more compellingly, it's rich with original artwork and photographs, including lovely little "cells," hand-painted on mica, illustrating different jobs and positions held by the people of India (on 3 x 4 inch cards); and pen and ink sketches, many of them satirizing the manners observed in English ballrooms. Includes 3 sepia photographs (albumen prints) of the people of Egypt. By turns lovely, quirky, and approaching offensive, it offers very little text, and even fewer clues as to its creator's identity. It does, however, capture a complicated (and occasionally bizarre) period in India's and Britain's shared history. Bookseller Inventory # D4287
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