Major Gill's Very Scarce Collection of One Hundred Stereoscopic Views of India

    [Photography]. [Major Robert Gill, photographer]. James Fergusson. One Hundred Stereoscopic Illustrations of Architecture and Natural History in Western India. London: Cundall, Downes & Company, 1864. First edition of this very scarce work. Octavo. xii pages. With all one hundred half-stereo albumen prints mounted onto one hundred thick leaves, most with textual descriptions, inserted at the end (most are numbered on rectos, all have versos blank). Publisher's full red cloth, boards and spine ruled and elaborately stamped in blind and lettered in gilt. Binding worn and soiled, tears at joints, text and plates are nearly entirely loose (yet all present). Bookseller's ticket. With the armorial bookplate of James Albert Garland, Jr. on the front pastedown, as well as his signature on the upper margin of the title-page. A good copy of this extremely rare title.

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    In 1836, James Fergusson visited the rock-cut caves and temples at Ajunta and Ellora, the results of which were delivered in a paper to the Asiatic Society. In 1845, a published edition of this expedition was offered to the public with lithographs. This generated sufficient interest for the East India Company to appoint Robert Gill to make drawings of the Ajunta murals. While Gill was thus engaged, he also produced nearly 200 stereoscopic views of these cave and other architectural views in India. Seventy-four were published in The Rock Cut Temples of India (John Murray, 1864), and one hundred were published in the present work. Although a few of Gill's works have been at auction within in the last fifty years (only one copy of each), the present work has never appeared at auction.

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    April, 2013
    10th Wednesday
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