Prince Aleksei Dmitrievich Soltykov (1806-1859)
Indian Scenes and Characters: sketched from life, by... Soltykoff. Edited by Edward B. Eastwick. London: Smith, Elder & Co. and Smith, Taylor & Co. in Bombay, 1859.
2° (620 x 440mm). Tinted lithographic additional title with vignette, 15 tinted plates, all after Soltykoff by de Rudder or J.Trayer, printed by Auguste Bry of Paris (most plates with margins cut down, some with repaired tears, margins of titles and most text leaves torn, with occasional loss to blank margins). Original cloth-backed boards, lithographic title and vignette on upper cover (disbound, soiled, backstrip torn).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of one of the greatest of all Indian colourplate books, comprising a fine collection of views, scenes and portraits with letterpress commentaries and a dedication to Lord Stanley (the Secretary of State for India), all edited by the well-known orientalist and diplomat, Edward Backhouse Eastwick (1814-1883). Soltykov's wealth allowed him the luxury of lavish publication standards and afforded him the liberty to write as he found. The text of this work is both informative and perceptive and characteristically full of colourful detail.
The images comprise:
1.Additional title vignette: ['Gardens of Amber, near Jaypore'], 1859, 603 x 435mm (tears to lower and outer margins).
2.'Fishers on the Coast of Coromandel', 1858, 440 x 620mm.
3.'Festival of the Goddess Dourga ar Calcutta', 1858, 420 x 605mm. (tears to upper blank margin).
4.'Harem Carriage of the King of Delhi', 1858, 425 x 600mm.
5.'The Maha-Rajah-Hindoo-Rao-Bahadoer', 1858, 595 x 417mm.
6.'Mountaineers of the Himalaya', 1858, 593 x 417mm (75mm repaired tear to left margin, not affecting image).
7.'Hunting Leopards ready for the chase', 1858, 423 x 600mm.
8.'Cavalcade of Sikh Chieftans on Elephants', 1858, 435 x 605mm.
9.'Sikh Chieftans', 1858, 420 x 600mm (6 repaired tears to margins, 2 just affecting image area).
10.'The King of Gwalior and some of his Courtiers', 1838, 600 x 420mm. 11.'View of the Palace at Jaypore', 1858, 435 x 605mm.
12.'A Fakeer of Rajpootana', 1858, 582 x 420mm.
13.'Fakeers', 1858, 582 x 420mm.
14.'Arab and negro in the service of the Guickwar', 1858, 600 x 422mm. 15.'House and Gardens, Bombay', 1858, 440 x 618mm.
16.'Dance of the Nautch Girls', 1858, 435 x 605mm.
The work was available with the plates in at least two states: as here, or proof impressions (see these rooms, 25 May 1995 lot 121).