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Imperial Tour of India in connection with the Delhi Durbar, 1911. A fine large album of photos

A large oblong folio album containing 208 original photographs [mainly 6 x 4ins, 155 x 111mm] mounted four to each side of the album leaves, each with a letterpress description pasted beneath it. The album, measuring 17 x 12 ins [445 x 315mm], is bound in full padded red leather with the title as above gilt blocked to the upper board. It shows signs of wear but is quite sound and has been professionally re-backed at some time with most of the original spine laid down. Although there are no previous ownership marks the album was almost certainly prepared for a member of the Royal Party travelling to India on H.M.S. Medina and the images are by the royal photographer Ernest Brooks* who had much more intimate access to the party and events than almost any other professional photographer. That the album contains a large number of photographs of the tiger hunting visit to Nepal further indicates that the owner was probably a member of the King's suite, perhaps an ADC. During that part of the tour the Queen was elsewhere and her separate activities are not recorded by this photographer. This is an extremely useful pictorial record of the visit with many photographs that are not published in the standard books or encountered in other albums. We have never come across another example of this particular album [although we have handled this one before]. The photographs are as follows: Departure from Portsmouth [2]; escorting battleships photographed from HMS Medina; Port Said with TIM, the Khedive of Egypt, Lord Kitchener, &c [2]; life on board - deck games, informal group portraits, &c [15]; Bombay including the royal barge procession [4]; Delhi and the Coronation Durbar, including Maharajas in open carriages visiting the King Emperor, reviews, a rare view of a fire in the camp, portraits, &c [46]; inspecting the Arrah Light Horse, , tiger and rhino hunting with the Maharaja of Nepal [50]; leaving Nepal [2]; royal boat crossing the Ganges; official duties in Calcutta [17]; on the royal train Calcutta -Nagpur - Bombay [8]; Port Sudan including tribesmen and portraits of Lord Crewe & Lord Charles Fitzmaurice, Hon Sir David Keppel & Capt Faussett RN on camels [14]; on board HMS Medina - royal rooms, &c [4]; Malta with illuminated battleships [2]; the last few pages are filled with additional images that are out of sequence - hunting in Nepal [6], portraits [4], HMS Exmouth saluting the royal barge, royal heralds and attendants, Delhi [2], view of Delhi camp, review in Gibraltar, arrival at Portsmouth. Thanksgiving at St Paul's. The photographs seem personally selected and reflect the chief interests of the time. The large number of good images of the hunting expeditions in the Nepal Terai is particularly notable and they include many of the King shooting from the elephant howdah, kills, loading tigers on to pack elephants, shooting lunches, and include named individuals such as Gen Sir Horace Smith Dorrien, the Duke of Teck, the Maharaja of Nepal, etc. Many other key individuals are mentioned in the captions including the ladies attending Queen Mary, the Viceroy Lord Hardinge, Indian Princes, etc. The photographer has had perhaps a unique opportunity to record the relaxed life of the royal party on board ship and the Durbar section includes much that is not seen in the standard large format prints that fill most albums. There are five interesting images of princes in their silver mounted carriages [Patiala, Benares, Bilaspur, Jind, and Nawanagar] and there are several other attractive images of rulers [Bikaner with his heir, Bharatpur, Bhopal] together with a particularly good double portrait of the Hon ADCs HH Ganga Singh Maharaja of Bikaner and HH Maharaja Sir Pratap Singh. " Ernest Brooks [1875 - 1957] grew up in Windsor Great Park where his father worked. As a opportunity to youth he looked after the pony which Lord Kitchener had given to Queen Victoria. He became e photographer to the King and as such accompanied the royal party on their India Tour where he had the opportunity to take numerous personal views in locations which were not available to some of the large commercial photographers.

Price: 3,200.00

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