Mumbai grew from the 1860s through the 1890s largely because of the international cotton trade, which went from exporting cotton to textile manufacturing mills dotting the city.
A very evocative studio portrait of three – instead of the usual single - ayah which, intentionally or not, hints at something of the pathos of their work.
One of those postcards which remind you what an exceptional artist M.V. Dhurandhar was. In the midst of a harvest, with giant sheaves of the crop as if pulled apart like curtains, stands a woman in red with sickle in hand.
A popular figure specific to early South Indian postcards is the toddy drawer. Palm wine was made from sap collected from trees in little pouches.
A very early India-printed postcard signed by the chief lithographer at the Ravi Varma Press, Paul Gerhardt. Gerhardt was probably aware of Ravi Varma's prize-winning painting that year, Water Bearer, and we know from Raja Varma's diaries - the great
Hobson Jobson (1903) the great dictionary of Indian words in English, defines "Dhoby, Dobie s. A washerman; H. dhobi [from dhona, Skt. [Sanskrit] dhav, 'to wash.'] In colloquial Anglo-Indian use all over India. A common H. [Hindustani] proverb runs:
A postmarked version in India from August 16, 1905 of Dhobi Washerman and sent to Mr. u [sp?], 16 Mt. Ararat Rd., Richmond, Surrey [England]." The writing is hard to make out exactly, but it seems to say: "This is Mr. Dierius' Your card Dhobi.
Another evocative card by M.V. Dhurandhar injects personality into the roving washerman. In the background is an edifice of the "new" Bombay while in the foreground we see the age-old profession of washermen cleaning the resident's laundry.
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.