One of the earliest postcards of a "dancing girl" printed in India. Nach [or Nautch] women among the most popular subjects of early postcards of India.
The great Hindi/Urdu writer Munshi Premchand describes, from the point-of-view of Suman, the heroine of his first novel Sevasadan, the complex view she has of Bholi, a courtesan living across the street from her:
"Suman had never met any courtesans,
[Original caption] Devil Dancers, Calcutta. The Devil Dancer with his painted body, hideous mask, and fantastic head-dress is supposed to strike terror unto the beholder; as a rule he but succeeds in amusing him.
One of the most popular of early nautch postcards, made in many variations by Clifton & Co. As is so often the case, the musician lends colour and evokes the dance even if, in this case, they are probably standing very still in the studio.
An unusual portrait of a dancing girl, simply dressed, with her hands above her head, against a flattened studio backdrop, probably in Mumbai.
A postcard like this was the result of a careful and perhaps exhausting pose by the dancers. Note the man holding up the backdrop, which probably covered a studio wall or other scene.
One of Fred Bremner's most popular postcards, also titled Specimens of Walnut and Copper Carving, Kashmir. The density of the collotype deepends ones appreciation of the woodworker's lifework.
Postmarked Rawalpindi, 21 Oct.
One of the less common "nautch girl" or dancing women postcards where the toll of the profession is visible on the sitter's face.