Our Shop Item Type
Browse by region
Browse by Item Type
New Acquisitions
See all items
Latest catalogue Contact
332 Balboa Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
Phone (415) 668-4723 | Fax (415) 668-4723
Tue-Sun 11 am – 5 pm
Clifton & Co. (fl. ca. 1890s-1930s) & Others. Album with 97 Original Gelatin Silver Photographs and Collotypes of India, Showing Agra (Taj Mahal Complex, Agra Fort, Moti Masjid, the Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah), Bombay (Victoria Terminus, Crawford Market, Dwarakadhish Temple, Government Secretariat, Elphinstone Circle, University Library & Clock Tower, Oval Maidan, Queen’s Statue, Flora Fountain, General Post Office, High Court of Judicature, Elphinstone College & Sassoon Library, Oriental Buildings, Royal Alfred Sailors’ Home, Municipal Hall, Town Hall, Esplanade, Victoria Gardens, &c.), Delhi (Jama Masjid), Shiva Temple in the Elephanta Caves, a Series of Portraits of Indian People, &c. Ca. 1900s.


Ca. 1900s

Ask a question

Folio (ca. 37x30,5 cm or 14 ½ x 12 in). 62 card stock leaves. With 73 mounted gelatin silver photos, including seventeen large images from ca. 22x28 cm (8 ½ x 11 in) to ca. 18,5x23 cm (7 ¼ x 9 in); the rest of the photos are from ca. 14x21 cm (5 ½ x 8 ¼ in) to ca. 10x14 cm (4 x 5 ½ in). Over a dozen photos are numbered in negative. Also with 24 mounted collotypes, each ca. 19x23,5 cm (7 ¼ x 9 ¼ in); all but three are signed “Clifton & Co., Bombay” in negative; sixteen are also captioned in negative. Over fifty images with period manuscript ink captions in Urdu. The first leaf with a paper label with printed and manuscript notes in Urdu, mounted on verso. Period maroon quarter morocco with cloth boards; spine with raised bands; gilt-lettered title “Album/Inde” on the front board and the spine; marbled endpapers. Binding mildly rubbed on extremities, corners mildly bumped, but overall a very good album of strong interesting photos.

Historically significant, extensive collection of original studio gelatin silver and collotype photographs of India, possibly collected by a member of its Muslim community. The album opens with three portraits, showing an affluent Indian family, a group of religious teachers and their students, and two girls. Over a dozen smaller photos portray various people of India: musicians, women in traditional dress, dancers, noblemen, a snake charmer, a policeman, and others. About forty images show the Mughal architecture of Agra: Taj Mahal complex (general views with the gardens or taken from the Yamuna River, the main gateway, marble inlay work of the interior, arches and marble lattice screens, the main chamber with the sarcophagus of Mumtaz Mahal, &c.), Agra Fort (Delhi Gate, Hall of Public Audience, Moti Masjid/Pearl Mosque, Musamman Burj tower), the Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah and other sites. Twenty-four collotypes by a noted Bombay/Mumbai studio of “Clifton & Co.” show various sites in Bombay (with a photo of Jama Masjid in Delhi; see the list of captions below). Seven photos at the rear show the interior of the Elephanta Caves (the main hall with columns, sculptures of Trimurti Shiva, Gangadhara, the wedding of Shiva and Parvati, Shiva slaying Andhaka, Ardhanarishvara and Shiva Linga shrine). Overall an extensive collection of large, well-preserved original photos of the architectural sites of India and portraits of its people.

A list of captions to “Clifton & Co.’s” collotypes: [Victoria Terminus]; Crawford market; Hindu monkey temple; The Government Secretariat; Elphinstone Circle; University Library & Clock tower; [City street]; [A part of the Oval Maidan with the Government Secretariat building]; The Queen’s Statue; [Hutatma Chowk and the Flora Fountain]; General Post Office & Floral Fountain; [A gathering for prayer at Jama Masjid, Delhi]; High Court of Judicature; Elphinstone College & Sassoon Library; [Close-up view of the Victoria Terminus]; [Oriental Buildings]; Royal Alfred Sailors Home; Municipal Hall; The Town Hall; B[ombay]. B[aroda]. & C[entral]. I[ndia]. R[ailwa]y. Administrative Offices; [The Esplanade]; View from clock tower; Victoria Gardens; A palm grove.

Harry Cifton Soundy (1863-1922) worked for the Bombay office of “Bourne & Shepherd’s” photo studio in 1889-1894. In ca. 1896-1897, he opened a studio under the name “Clifton & Co.” and became widely known for “pictorial Indian postcards.” “The studio was the venue for daily screenings of silent films from 1897” (source).

Item #PC58
Price: $6500.00