This unusual, sepia-ish lithographic postcard is probably by Paul Gerhardt at the Ravi Varma Press even though it is not signed by him with the Press imprint.
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
[Original German] Das Oberste Thor Vom Fort Gwalior [end]
This image is from a painting by Josef Hoffmann, an Austrian painter and early postcard artist who traveled to India in the mid-1890s.
One of the earliest roughly dateable postcards of India, made by a German firm that soon seems to have vanished from history. It probably dates to 1896, when a similar card of Haiti was made (see Haiti's First Postcard by Peter. C. Jeannopoulus in
The GPO in Bombay was already the largest post office in India when this card was produced in 1899, with tens of millions of postcards passing through in a city of less than a million.
[Original] Victoria Brunnen
Compagnie Comet seems to have been the earliest publisher of a series of cards on India, their name appearing as "Verlag [Firm] "Compagnie Comet", Fr. Th.
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
[Original German] Maedchen Schule in Jeypore [end]
This image was made by the Austrian landscape painter Josef Hoffman who toured India and Persia in the 1890s.