The Queen Mary photograph collection on India
Scope and Contents
1: Visit of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to India in 1875-1876.;
2 and 3 Malta and Ceylon on the Royal Tour 1901.;
4-19 and 29; Visit to India in 1905-1906.
The main record is in albums 6 and 7 where there are 688 photographs with some captions written by the Prince of Wales. This includes scenes of the tour itself and also a large number of professional photographs of buildings and places visited.
Also relating to the entire tour are album 8, which appears to be a professionally prepared and titled volume, album 9, a collection of photographs taken and presented by Sir Charles Cust, and 4 and 5 which are two albums of architectural views from places visited during the tour.
Number 10 has views of the Royal Train and 11-19 and 29 related to particular places visited.
The lists for numbers 6 and 7 have been cross-referred to other albums at appropriate places;
20-23: Delhi Durbar tour of 1911-1912. 20 is a substantial collection with 520 prints covering the whole tour and the other three albums relate to other aspects.;
24 and 25 Collection of 140 photographs of India and Ceylon, probably all dating from 1916;
26: Photographs of Hindu rites;
27: Photographs of drawings of buildings planned for New Delhi;
28: album of photographs recording the unveiling of a statute of King George at Kalutara, South Ceylon, 1916.
In keeping with the status of the royal travellers, the most distinguished photographers available were selected to record the visit to the sub-continent and to have their work bound into handsome presentation souvenir volumes.
QM 2 records a visit to Ceylon which took place in 1901, a few years before the majority of the events recorded in the collection, but as with the main Indian tours the most respected photographer was chosen to compile the album of 58 platinum prints of views in the island. Not only were most of the prints taken by the firm of W.L.H. Skeen and Co., active in Ceylon since the very early 1860s, but the letterpress sections were produced by another section of the family, the Government printer George J.A. Skeen.
On the same visit (en route to Australia) the Duke and Duchess of Wales briefly visited Malta and here also they were presented with an album of views prepared by Richard Ellis, a prestigious and long-established local firm.
The documentary record of the royal tour of India of 1905-1906, comprising a comprehensive coverage of their visits to Bombay, Indore, Bikaner, Peshawar, Agra, Madras, Mysore, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Gwalior, Quetta and Karachi is contained in QM 6 and 7. The majority of this work was taken by the firms of Bourne and Shepherd and Lala Deen Dayal, active in the sub-continent since the 1860s and 1870s respectively.
The scenes in the Elephant Keddah in Mysore (QM 6) were by Barton and Son and Co of Bangalore - see also QM 29.
Other photographers also supplied material from some of the more far-flung locations visited by the Prince and Princess, including views in Burma by P. Klier, and scenes from the Northwest Frontier by Frederick Bremner.
More informal, amateur photography is contained in QM 9, a record of the tour made by Sir Charles Cust.
Other work by Bourne and Shepherd inevitably occurs in other parts of the collection. In particular QM 4 and 5 are two volumes of architectural studies by the firm which present a general conspectus of the architectural heritage of the subcontinent. While printed and bound specifically for presentation to the royal couple several of the views in fact date back to the 1860s when Samuel Bourne undertook his photographic travels in India. Also by Bourne and Shepherd is the album of hand-tinted views of HMS Terrible being coaled at Bombay in 1912 (QM 23).
Further work by the firm of Lala Deen Diyal, offering a detailed documentation of the part of the royal tour in Bombay and Indore in 1905 is to be found in QM 12.
After Bourne and Shepherd and Lala Deen Diyal, the firm of Johnston and Hoffman, founded in Calcutta in around 1880, was one of the best established business in India, and they naturally took some part in the photographic record produced. QM 10 is an album containing interior and exterior views of the royal train specially built to carry the Prince and Princess during the 1905-1906 tour, and photographed by Johnston and Hoffman. The firm also took a number the views in QM 20, an album containing a record of the second tour and Delhi Durbar in 1911-1912.
Other local photographers less well known, but all producing work of high documentary quality, were responsible for other albums, such as R. Jalbhoy of Karachi (QM 11) and J. and H. King of Simla who recorded the Rawalpindi Manoeuvres of December 1905 (QM 16).
Other photographers remain anonymous, particularly the operators who compiled the albums presented by various of the princely states such as Udaipur (QM 13) Jaipur (QM 14), Bikaner (QM 15), and Gwalior (QM 17-19) and this is unfortunate, since their work is often of comparable quality to that of their better known contemporaries.
- 1875 - 1916
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
29 album(s) (circa 3800 images in 29 albums)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Existence and Location of Copies
- 2002-02-12 09:30:09+00:00
- Language of description
- Script of description