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Solvyns, Balt. (Balthazar), 1760-1824.

A collection of two hundred and fifty coloured etchings : descriptive of the manners, customs and dresses of the Hindoos / by Balt: Solvyns.

Calcutta : [Mirror Press], 1799.
Physical Description:
[2], 66, [1], 35, [1], 8, [1], 8, [1], 8, [1], 8, [1], 10, [1], 13, [1], 17, [1], 8, [1], 36, [1], 22 leaves of plates : col. ill. (etchings) ; 52 cm. (fol.)
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2010 43
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Public Domain
"According to Bohn, 1847, this work was originally undertaken at the instigation and under the patronage of Sir William Jones, the famous orientalist. The owner's note quoted above shows that Solvyns began it in 1793, but had not finished delivering copies even ten years later, although he had begun delivering finished sets in about 1800."--Abbey.
"The originals of the above plates are in the Victoria and Albert Museum."--Abbey.
In twelve sections, each section starting with an engraved leaf announcing the section's subject matter and the number of plates contained within that section; sections 2-12 are preceded by unnumbered etched frontispieces.
The etchings are described in separate letterpress publication: A catalogue of 250 coloured etchings; descriptive of the manners, customs, character, dress, and religious ceremonies of the Hindoos. By Balt. Solvyns (Calcutta: Mirror Press, 1799; ESTC T128067).
Engraved throughout.
Short title catalogue of eighteenth century printed books in the National Library of Medicine p. 425
English short title catalogue, T128068
Shaw, G. Printing in Calcutta to 1800, 348
Archer, J. British domestic architecture, p. 12
Colas, R. Bibliographie générale du costume et de la mode, 2763
Hardie, M. English coloured books, p. 132
Abbey, J.R. Travel in aquatint and lithography, 1770-1860, 421
BAC: British Art Center copy is the Abbey copy. Bound in native tree calf; rebacked in red morocco. Previously housed in a faux alligator skin box, to which is affixed a partially mutilated label of the [Peninsular and] Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Inscribed: A. Gordon. The BAC copy of the accompanying letterpress Catalogue (Folio A 2010 43a) also bears Gordon's signature and is inscribed: These etchings werer begun by Mr Solvyns on a liberal subscription, viz 250 rupees each set, in the year 1793, & the copy to which this is a catalogue was delivered April 27th, 1803--Mr S. has indeed been finishing & delivering copies occasionally these three years past.
Subject Terms:
Anthropology, Cultural -- India -- Pictorial works.
Calcutta -- Imprints -- Specimens -- 1799.
Clothing and dress -- India -- Pictorial works.
Culture -- India -- Pictorial works.
Engraving, Colored -- Specimens -- 1799.
Festivals -- India -- Pictorial works.
Gordon, Alex -- Autograph.
Hinduism -- India -- Pictorial works.
India -- Social life and customs -- Pictorial works.
Musical instruments -- India -- Pictorial works.
Occupations -- India -- Pictorial works.
Ships -- India -- Pictorial works.
Jones, William, 1726-1800, associated name.
IIIF Manifest:

  • Section 1st. 66 prints of the Hindoo Casts with their respective professions
  • Section 2nd. 35 prints, of the servants employed in the domestic concerns of European families, and the only Section in which Mahometans are introduced
  • Section 3rd. 8 prints, dresses of Hindoo men
  • Section 4th. 8 prints, dresses of Hindoo women
  • Section 5th. 8 prints, of vehicles, horses and bullocks, as practiced by the natives
  • Section 6th. 8 prints of palanquins
  • Section 7th. 10 prints, of faquirs
  • Section 8th. 13 prints of pleasure boats
  • Section 9th. 17 prints, of boats of lading
  • Section 10th. 8 prints, of various modes of smoking, with the hooka &c.
  • Section 11th. 36 prints, of musical instruments
  • Section 12th. 22 prints, of public festivals, funerals, ceremonies &c.

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