Illustrated postcards actually came to Mumbai at an inauspicious moment.
Handwritten on the back is a part of a longer message that discusses the plague then present in Bombay: “A poor soldier got it but recovered a Sergeant’s child died of it & Major Murray has been very ill and is only a little better.
An early court-sized postcard by Paul Gerhardt, chief lithographer at The Ravi Varma Press in - yes - Karli, outside Bombay. The firm moved its premises here in the late 1890s.
[Verso] Gaja-Gauri :- Goddess Parwati. [end]
From a painting by Raja Ravi Varma, Parvati is the Hindu goddess of fertility, love, beauty, marriage, children, devotion, divine strength and power.
This postcard shows a scene at the platform of Karla railway station outside Mumbai where The Ravi Varma Press was headquartered. On the platform, a barefoot man is holding a stick, another is smoking a hookah.
This finely lithographed card by Clifton & Co. was one of the their most popular images, and produced in multiple black and white formats. Originally from a photograph, this colored version would have required multiple print runs.
Another exuberant, deftly rendered very early postcard by Paul Gerhardt, chief lithographer at the Ravi Varma Press in Bombay. Note the simply drawn mosque minarets, the colors that pull you in while the cart pushes out into the foreground space.
Vishvamitra was a revered sage in ancient India; this postcard from one of Ravi Varma's most famous paintings shows how he rejects knowledge of his child by turning away and hiding his gaze with a dramatic gesture.
[Original caption] Menaka sent by
This postcard is probably among the earliest of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, given the undivided back, and Clifton's role as one of the earliest all-India postcard publishers. It is probably from a 19th century albumen print.
This card was sent