Ca. 1920. Two oblong Folio albums (ca. 26x33 cm). 47 and 43 card stock leaves. With 49 and 45 mounted gelatin silver photographs, from ca. 19,5x25 cm (7 ¾ x 10 in) to ca. 13x20 cm (15 ¼ x 8 in). No captions. Two period black full morocco “Kodak Agrippa” albums; each with a blind stamp “Dorothy Lewis” on the front board. Several mounts with creases on extremities, but overall very good albums, with interesting strong images.
Historically interesting collection of ninety-four large photos taken during a mountaineering trip to the Chamba princely state in northern British India (now Himachal Pradesh state of India) in the early 1920s. The travellers were, most likely, British nationals of the upper class: the album includes several photos of them posing with high-ranking Indian officials or nobility in Chamba. The travelling party had two ladies; the name of one of them, as follows from the blind stamps on both albums’ covers, was “Dorothy Lewis.”
The albums contain a dozen photos of the princely state’s capital Chamba, including a view of the city and Chamba valley taken from above, several views of the Chaugan festive ground and adjacent colonial buildings, close-up views of the 10th-century Laxmi Narayan Temple (one of the photos apparently also shows the temple’s interior), the Akhand Chandi Palace, a narrow Chamba street, featuring one of the female travellers, etc. There are also photos of the exterior and interior of the house, where the travellers most likely stayed while in Chamba (showing living room, bedroom, dining room, and the stairs on the second floor). Another photo, apparently taken next to the compiler’s house, features the signs directing to “the town” and “Ravee view.” Three photos portray several Indian officials on the Chaugan field during public festivities or elsewhere.
Over twenty photos show the travellers, their camps, porters and guides. The adventurers are portrayed with native guides or officials in Chamba, crossing a river on elephants, next to their car at a guest house, mounted on a horse, going up a mountain path, next to a killed bear, crossing a river on a rope bridge, going up a snowy mountain slope and wearing goggles, being carried by porters, having a break during the ascent, on top of a mountain ridge, laughing in a camp, with the inhabitants of a mountainous village, etc. There are also photos of the travellers’ cars on a dirt road, their tent camp in the mountains, pack mules, Himalayan snowy peaks, valleys, mountain rivers and streams, waterfalls, forests, rope bridges, serpentine roads, mountain villages and bungalows, a native house with an elaborate wood carved panel, local people, shepherds, etc.
The other photos include three views of Mumbai, showing the Taj Mahal Hotel, a street with tram cars, automobiles, and buildings decorated with British flags for the official visit of Edward, Prince of Wales (future King Edward VIII, the visit took place in autumn-winter 1921). One of the buildings bears a large sign “God Bless Our Prince.” There are also views of Delhi (Kashmiri Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, the Jama Masjid, the Qutb Minar), Agra (the Taj Mahal), a river steamer, etc. Overall an interesting collection of large well-executed photos from a mountaineering trip to the lesser-travelled areas of northern India.
Price: $4,500.00 USD