[INDIA] GRANT, C[OLESWORTHY]. Lithographic Sketches of the Public Characters of Calcutta...
... Calcutta: W. Thacker and Co., n.d. . Modern calf-backed marbled boards. 9 3/4 x 6 7/8 inches (25 x 17.5 cm); letterpress title page and ninety-one lithographic plates [? of an ideal one hundred fifty-four, though highly variable, see below], some on India paper mounted. Some staining and browning, but overall an acceptable copy of a very rare book; Together with MOOR, EDWARD. The Hindu Pantheon. Madras: J. Higginbotham, 1864. Second, but first Indian edition (first published London 1810). Publisher's brown cloth. 9 1/2 x 5 7/8 inches (24 x 15 cm); xiii, , 401,  pp.; illustrated with 61 plates, of which 4 are in color. Rebacked with original spine laid down, one plate defaced (a phallus inked over), Geoffrey Hodgson's bookplate on flyleaf; And SETON-KARR, W.S. AND SANDEMAN, H.D. Selections from Calcutta Gazettes of the Years 1784 to 1823, Showing the Political and Social Condition of the English in India. Calcutta: Printed at the Military Orphan Press by O.T. Cutter, 1864-1869. Five volumes, bound in 19th century three-quarter green calf, spines faded to brown over matching cloth-covered boards, (one volume not matching). Illustrated with a large folding map of Hindustan in a pocket in the back of volume one. Aside from the faded spines, a nice unsophisticated set.
The first work consists of well-executed portrait studies, gathering together sporting, literary, military, legal and other local notables. COPAC indicates that the British Library copy has 154 plates, OCLC lists three copies with 107 plates, and other examples have collations different from either of these. It seems likely that this was a nonce publication gathering together whatever plates were at hand, a fairly typical proceeding for amateur Indian lithography. The Madras issue of the Pantheon is rare, and the Indian edition is of lithographic interest, part of the long tradition of Indian lithography. The volumes of the Gazettes provide an extraordinary insight into the early days of English activity in India in the years before the Raj.
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