An exceptional album containing six portraits, three panoramic views of Lucknow (2) and 'Hopeinabad.....from the Jumna Musjul' and fifty-eight other large views by Beato, with seventeen smaller views, probably the work of another unidentified photographer. The portraits are of Sir Robert Napier, Sir Robert Montgomery, Sir William Mansfield, Sir Hope Grant, Lord Clyde and groups including the same sitters.
In 1857, sepoys in the Indian Army rebelled, protesting against poor conditions and pay. This led to almost a year of fighting between the Indians and the British in Delhi, Lucknow and Cawnpore. Referred to by the British as 'The Mutiny', the various battles and sieges resulted in the awful deaths of many British officers, Indian and British soldiers and other men, women and children. The horror of the situation attracted international attention and drew, amongst others, the photographers James Robertson and his brother-in-law, Felice Beato, who had previously photographed scenes of war in the Crimea.
The photographer Felice Beato arrived in February, 1858, one month before the relief of Lucknow, and produced the most professional and comprehensive series of views and portraits documenting this critical period in Anglo-Indian history. He concentrated on the effects of the devastation on the fabric of the cities, including the ruins of such former symbols of British power as the Residency in Lucknow. He also photographed scenes including human remains, representing the carnage which had preceeded his arrival. It has been said that he requested that bodies be replaced in sites from where they had previously been removed, for the purpose of achieving more sensational photographs. The precise number of photographs in the series is not known, but this album contains the largest and most comprehensive group to have appeared on the market to date.
After his vist to India, Beato travelled to China and returned to England in the early 1860s. At this time his photographs of India and China were available for sale from H. Hering in Regent Street, London. The number of images in this album and the quality of the binding suggest that it was compiled for someone of rank or for their surviving family, possibly that of General Sir Henry Havelock (1795-1857). Havelock is doubly represented by the first view which shows the site of his grave at Allumbagh, and by the additional stereo card which shows a sculpture bust of the general with commemorative verse. He effected the first relief of Lucknow in September, 1857 and worked with Sir Colin Campbell in the second relief in November, but died from illness on the morning of the withdrawal.
A complete list of titles with print dimensions is available on request.