Ca. 1900. Oblong Folio (ca. 31,5x45,5 cm). 24 card stock leaves. With 33 large original gelatin silver photos, from ca. 20,5x28,5 cm (ca. 8 ¼ x 11 ¼ in) to ca. 18,5x24 cm (7 ¼ x 9 ½ in); six photos captioned and/or with the name of R.C. Mazumdar in negative; six photos with blind stamps "Lawrie" in the right lower corners; four photos numbered in negative. With seven collotypes by Clifton & Co., ca. 18,5x24 cm (7 ¼ x 9 ½ in); two of them are signed, and three are captioned in negative. Also, with eleven smaller gelatin silver photos ca. 10x14 cm (3 ¾ x 5 ½ in), all unsigned but numbered in negative. Bound in the custom-made art-nouveau style brown full calf album; spine with raised bands; front cover with an elaborate hand-etched picture of the Taj Mahal, enclosed in a gilt-tooled decorative frame; custom made braided leather fasteners with metal clasps; decorative endpapers. Blind stamp "Georg Hulbe, Hamburg-Berlin" in the left lower corner of the front board. Overall a beautiful album in very good condition with strong interesting images.
An excellent collection of beautifully preserved classic and lesser-known studio photos of Indian cities, and portraits of the local people housed in an exquisite custom made Jugendstil (art-nouveau) binding by the famous German house of Georg Hulbe. The photos were most likely collected by a German traveller to India in the early 1900s.
The album opens with five photographs by a small Indian studio of R.C. Mazumdar, which include four views of the Benares/Varanasi ghats, showing the Alamgir/Aurangzeb mosque, still with two colossal minarets (one of them collapsed in 1949, and the other one was removed the same year), one of the burning ghats, and a lively scene with bathing people. The last Mazumdar's photo depicts the Nizamuddin baoli (stepwell) in Delhi with the distinctive arcade on the left. The six images with the blind stamps of G.W. Lawrie's studio (Lucknow, Nainital & Mussoorie, fl. ca. 1880s-1920s) depict the Lucknow Imambara complex, including the Bara Imambara and Chota Imambara meeting halls, the Asafi Mosque, Rumi Darwaza and the first courtyard, and a part of the Qaisarbagh/Kaiserbagh palace complex.
A dozen large unsigned images portray the iconic sites of Agra and Delhi, including Taj Mahal (the complex from the Yamuna River, the mausoleum, the main gate, the gardens and the reflecting pool, details of the marble jail lattice and gemstone inlays), the Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah, the interior of the Agra Fort, the Lahori Gate to the Delhi's Red Fort with the waving British ensign, etc. Two captioned, but unsigned photos show the carved marble doorways to the tombs of Mirza Jahangir and Mohammad Shah in Delhi.
Eight large unsigned photos of Jaipur and environs were attributed to the studio of Gobindram & Oodeyram (the images are of the same size, four of them are numbered in negative, similarly to the Gobindram & Oodeyram's photos from the collection of the British Library, http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/other/zoomify60675.html). The photos show Jaipur with the Aravali Hills in the background, Amer Fort, Palace and the Maota Lake, a street procession with elephants and cheering crowds, a scene at a bathing pool in the hills, countryside palaces, and others. The collotypes by Clifton & Co. (ca. 1890s-1910s) depict the marble carved ceilings and columns of the Dilwara Temples (Rajasthan), "the great banyan tree" in Calcutta, and portraits of a "Bhisti & Bullock" and a water carrier. The album closes with eleven smaller studio portraits of Indian people, showing a street seller, a clothes mender, dancing girls, peasants with a caught leopard in a cart, snake charmers, and others. Overall a beautiful collection of carefully selected and wonderfully preserved studio photos of India.
Opened in Hamburg in 1884, the bindery of Georg Hulbe (1851-1917) had become one of the largest and most influential European establishments by the early 1900s, with the branches in Berlin and Frankfurt-on-Main, and over 200 workers. The bindery created exquisite book bindings, folders, screens, furniture, wallpapers, etc.; among its most famous works are the Golden Books of the cities of Hamburg and Poznan, a leather genealogical tree of the princely House of Bismarck, and a leather gold-embossed wallpaper for the Berlin Reichstag. Hulbe's works can be found in several public collections around the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, Musee d'Orsay, Berlin Reichstag, Princeton University, and others.
Price: $6,500.00 USD