PRINSEP (JAMES) Benares Illustrated, in series of drawings
Lot 488
PRINSEP (JAMES) Benares Illustrated, in series of drawings
Sold for £3,840 (US$ 6,447) inc. premium
Lot Details
Benares Illustrated, in series of drawings, letterpress title, 34 plates (of 35, comprising 28 lithographed plates on india paper and 6 engraved, without plate 33), without text, occasional spotting, and small arc of dampstaining in margins, ownership inscription of "W.G.M. Campbell, Benares, Jan. 1922" on title, modern blue half morocco [not in Abbey], folio, Calcutta, Baptist Mission Press, 1831


  • James Prinsep (1799–1840) worked at the Benares mint from 1820 to 1830, when he moved to Calcutta where he remained until his death in 1840. He was instrumental in reforming the system of Indian weights and measures, but his "greatest achievement was to decipher the hitherto unreadable scripts of the most ancient of Indian inscriptions... In 1822 he had applied his talents in draughtsmanship to a thorough survey of Benares.... [and] a series of exquisite watercolours of the monuments and festivals of Benares was sent to London in 1829 to be lithographed. These were published in Calcutta and London between 1830 and 1834 as Benares Illustrated, in a Series of Views" (ODNB).
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