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The Costume of Hindostan, elucidated by sixty coloured engravings / with descriptions in English and French, taken in the years 1798 and 1799 (First Edition)


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About this Book

First edition of the rare illustrated description of Hindostan by the Belgian Painter Francois Balthazar Solvyns.

In-folio, 60 hand-colored plates engraved by Scott on Drawings by Solvyns, (4 soft-ground etchings, the remainder stipple and line, dated January 1804 to January 1805). The text is in English and French, there is very slight offsetting from plate to text, contemporary blue morocco with rich gold decoration.

Solvyns was a Belgian painter and engraver who lived in Calcutta from 1791 to 1803. His paintings and engravings offer a rare and well-documented glimpse of the costumes and diverse professions in 18th century Calcutta. This work was first published in 12 parts in a commercially unsuccessful series called “A collection of two hundred and fifty coloured etchings descriptive of the manners, customs and dresses of the Hindoos” in Calcutta in 1799. Later Edward Orme commissioned these 60 engravings based on Solvyns’ original watercolors and these were ultimately published in book form for the first time in 1804, as in this copy. A second edition followed in 1807 and the book remained in publication for many years due to the popularity of the images.

List of the plates: 1.An Ooria or Orissa Brahmun, offering his devotions to the Sun 2. A Chittery 3. A Dybuck [Astrologer/Astromomer] 4. An Auhheer, or seller of Milk, Curds, Whey and Buttermilk 5. Rowanny Bearers, or Chairmen6. Tauntees, or Weavers7. B’Haut8. A Dandy, or Boatman 9. A Jellee-a, or Fisherman 10. Brijbasi 11. Kawra, or Hog-Keepers, with their method of taking Pigs to market 12. Puckimar, or Bird-Catcher 13. Sircar 14. A Jummadar 15. A Choobdar, or Assahburdar, with a long silver stick, the badge of his office 16. Kherch-Burdar, or House Purveyor 17. A B’heeshty or Waterman, carrying water in his Mushuck or Leathern Bag 18. Hooka-Burdar, or Hooka Purveyor, carrying the Hooka 19. A Durzee, or Taylor 20. A Baulber. [Barber] 21. A Hircarrah. [Messenger] 22. A Peada, or Footman 23. Native Coachman to an European 24. A Syce or Groom 25. An Aubdar, or Cooler of Water and Wines 26. Corah-Burdar 27. A Doorea-a, or Dog Keeper 28. A Bansee 29. A Man of Distinction in his Family Dress 30. A Sircar, dressed in a Courta; and an Eklie over his Shoulders 31. Bauluck 32. A behaleea 33. A Sepoy. [Native Soldier in Native Dress] 34. A Sepoy [in European Dress] 35. A Brigbasi 36. A Woman of Distinction 37. A Gwallin, or Milk Woman 38. A Woman of Inferior Rank 39. A Hidgra, or Hermaphrodite 40. A Ramganny, or Dancing Girl 41. A Polye, or Fisherwoman 42. Beeshnub, Worshipper of Vishnoo the preserving attribute of the diety 43. An Oordabahoo [Faquir] 44. Nariel, or Cocoa Nut Hooka 45. The Hindoo Method of Eating the Paun 46. A Sunk, or Chank, and Gunta, or Tingaree 47. A Timboora 48. A Sittara, or Guittar 49. A Sarinda, or Violin 50. Pennauck or Been 51. Saringee, played at Nautches & c 52. A Tubla. [Wooden Drum] 53. A D’Holuc. [Small Drum] 54. Jultrung.[China Cups] 55. D’Hauk. 56. Nagra. [Musical Instrument] 57. Kaura. [Musical Instrument] 58. Pukwauz. [Musical Instrument] 59. Jugo Jhumpo. [Musical Instrument] 60. Surmungla.

Bibliographic Details

Title: The costume of Hindostan, elucidated by sixty coloured engravings

Publisher: Edward Orme, London

Publication Date: 1804

Binding: Hardcover

Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition


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