Ca. 1920s-1930s. Oblong Folio album ca. 27,5x36,5 cm (10 ¾ x 14 ½ in). 24 black card stock leaves with tissue guards. With 189 mounted gelatin silver photos, including thirty large images from ca. 21,5x28 cm (8 ½ x 11 in) to ca. 18,5x18,5 cm (7 ¼ x 7 ¼ in) and nine medium-sized photos ca. 11x15,5 cm (4 ¼ x 6 ¼ in). The rest of the photos are from ca. 8x10,5 cm (3x4 in) to ca. 4,5x7 cm (1 ¾ x 2 ¾ in). Over 160 photos with period white ink captions on the mounts (some captions relate to several photos). Nine medium-sized photos with the ink stamps “R.B. Holmes, Photographer, 42, The Mall, Peshawar” on verso. Period maroon and decorative patterned cloth album boards, fastened with a string. Binding rubbed on extremities and loosened on hinges, cloth on the front board with a minor tear, one tissue guard is missing, one with a tear, but overall a very good album of interesting strong photos.
Historically Interesting extensive collection of original professional and amateur photos, taken and collected by a British officer of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and illustrating his service on the North West Frontier of British India in the interwar period. The album contains thirty large photos – mostly aerial views (often featuring flying Royal Air Force planes). The aerial photos show the Himalayas (Toshi, Indus and Balbit Valleys, Nanga Parbat and Rakaposhi mountains, “Kho-i-nor mountains”), Nowshera, Jamrud Fort, Attock Fort, Gilgit landing ground, Takht-i-Bahi ruins near Mardan, Quetta (“Hindu burning grounds,” three photos of the destruction after the 1935 Quetta earthquake), Taj Mahal, and Delhi (Viceregal Lodge and Administrative Hall, Red Fort, Qutb Minar, Jama Masjid and surroundings). There are also three large group portraits of British officers of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars, taken on the North West Frontier, and showing them in dress uniform (side caps and ammunition bandoliers) and field uniform, mounted on horses. Period white ink caption on the mount under the first portrait reads “Farr. G.J. Faulkner” – possibly, recording the name of the album’s compiler. Nine medium-sized images by a famous photographer of the North West Frontier, Randolph Bezzant Holmes (1888-1973), depict a military review of the same regiment. Two close-up portraits of drummers mounted on horses feature the banners with the 13th/18th Royal Hussars' mottos “Viret in Aeternum” and “Pro rege, pro lege, pro patria conamur.”
Most of the small photos relate to the regiment’s service in the North West Frontier Province and neighbouring Punjab (modern-day Pakistan), and show Khyber Pass (border crossing and official signs, “bunglow of Afgans army leader,” regiment horses “camped down at Peshawar aerodrome,” Landi Kotal, “end of the Kyber Pass,” “native bus in the Khyber”), Fort Jamrud, Fort Shabkadar, “Tangi Camp 1936,” “Nowshera pontoon bridge,” “horses drink near Peshawar,” “fording Kabul River,” “Attock bridge,” “Attock Fort,” a sleeping “Khassadar,” “Howitzers in action on the N.W.F.,” Lahore, “Kohat Aerodrome,” Murree, Peshawar, British cantonments in Ghora Dhaka, Risalpur and Mardan, “Coronation camp, 1937 at Khaisora Valley,” “plane burning out at Risalpur aerodrome,” “Royal Air Force barracks,” “action on the NWF,” &c. One photo portrays Lt.-Gen. Robert Baden Powell (1857-1941), during his visit to celebrate his 80th birthday with the 13th/18th Royal Hussars in Risalpur in 1937.
There are also six photos of destruction after the 1935 Quetta earthquake (“Quetta,” “destruction,” “result of earthquake,” “a view of what’s left,” “looking for belongings,” “Clearing up after Quetta earthquake”). Over thirty photos depict the compiler’s travel from Karachi to Malta via the Suez Canal (Karachi port, Gulf of Aden, port of Sudan, Suez, Port Said, Valetta, Gibraltar, H.M.T. “Somersetshire,” “H92 in the Mediterranean”). Several images also show the sites of Delhi, Agra, Amritsar and Kashmir. Overall an interesting content-rich source on the history of British military service in the North West Frontier and modern-day Pakistan in the interwar period.
“Holmes (1888-1973) was a professional photographer based in Peshawar from 1918 to 1947. He lived in the North West Frontier for over 50 years and travelled extensively throughout the region and much of northern India and Central Asia as a civilian and with numerous military operations. During the Third Afghan War his photography provided an invaluable record of the region and its people” (Bonhams).
Price: $3,250.00 USD