Handbook to the Jeypore Museum.Calcutta: Calcutta Central Press Company, 1895 Stock Code: 129923
"It is now a rebuke to all other Museums in India from Calcutta downwards" (Rudyard Kipling, 1891)First and only edition. Guidebook to the Jeypore Museum (now the Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur) written by the museum's curator Colonel Hendley of the Bengal Medical service eight years after the building had been inaugurated and illustrated with detailed and attractive photo-chromo-lithographed plates by William Griggs, the pioneer of the process.
Rudyard Kipling wrote in his 1891 book, Letters of Marque, "Let those who doubt the thoroughness of a Museum under one man's control, built, filled, and endowed with royal generosity... go and exhaustively visit Dr. Hendley's charge at Jeypore." Hendley, who was honorary secretary of the Jeypore Museum, founding editor of the Jounal of Indian Art, and author of many works on Indian art, "led a very strenuous life, and will rank among those who have really understood India and the true signification of mid-Eastern ideas and art" (obituary in the British Medical Journal, 10 Feb. 1917). His catalogue gives many details about the provenance and importance of a number of the items on display
Griggs, Hendley's colleague on the Journal of Indian Art, was the inventor of the photolithographic process by which many of the plates in the handbook were produced, from watercolours by Indian artists. His lavish and details plates shows some of the highlights of the collection including Jaipur brassware, laquerware boxes, and the works of enamel on gold, which "Sir G. Birdwood describes as the master art of the world" (p. 12). Griggs was still the most prominent practitioner of chromo-photo-lithography at the end of the 19th century and "his pioneering work in the wide diffusion of colour printing led a contemporary to claim that, but for his 'brilliant and painstaking work, chromolithography as a means of illustrating books would be almost a lost art, like that of coloured aquatint'" (ODNB).
Large octavo. Original brick red cloth, title gilt to front cover, geometric panels stamped on front and back cover in blind, plain surface paper endpapers.
16 plates, of which 12 are photo-chromo-lithographed by Griggs, 2 black and white photolithographs and 2 are ground plans of the museum.
Light rubbing and shelf wear to the extremities, very light browning to text block, plates clean, a very good copy.
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