Almost invisible in this painted scene are the two men near the center, half-hidden markers of scale, secret rewards for the perceptive postcard viewer.
Thacker Spink & Co.
A painted postcard of Simla, published by the local branch of one of the Raj's major retailers based in Kolkata.
Among the earliest postcards of Varanasi, this court-sized card was made from an albumen photograph (its title is still inscribed in the negative) and framed by a floral design.
An example of how the earliest postcards of a place were often design masterpieces. Note how the palm tree merges with the ship masts, and nautical rope and elements carefully surround the whole frame.
[Original back of advertising card] Alastor-Mystic-The Astrologer, Handreader and Clairvoyant from England. May be Consulted Daily at the Great Eastern Hotel, Calcutta, Room 59. (Hours 10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
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 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.