The babu, or educated Bengali bureaucrat, could be said to have held the Raj in the twirl of an umbrella. Babus were a new species that blossomed during colonial rule, hybrids of Western needs and Indian traditions.
A classic late 19th century pose, with a three-legged Victorian table, books for the woman to rest her arm on, and painted studio backdrop.
[Original] Durga - Great Eastern Hotel - Telegraph Office - Snake Charmers [end]
A card from the earliest known series of Calcutta postcards by the Austrian photographer W.
Lord Dalhousie brought the Burmese Pagoda from Prome in Burma in 1854 as a token of conquest of an area that was ruled as part of the British Raj.
[Original caption] Snake Charmers, Calcutta. The Snake Charmer, as a rule, is an itinerant being, who is glad to charm his snakes in your compound, or before your house or bungalow, for a small reward.
An early view of Kolkata by one of its first postcard publishers. The fine detail and texture of the collotype can be seen even in how the individual telephone wires are visible.
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.
A humorous card by one of the largest Raj retailers, comparing Western and Eastern cooks and procedures. It is signed by the artist Geo[rge] D. and dated 11 in the bottom right corner.
Nautch dancers inspired stories like Hassan Shah’s The Nautch Girl, “the first known modern Indian novel” in the 1790s, as well as the first Urdu novel, the story of the Lucknow courtesan Umrao Jaan Ada in 1899.
A version of this card was sent by