NEPAL An important album of views in the Kathmandu Valley, and portraits of the Rana dynasty assembled for someone in the British Residency, and appearing to date principally from the time of the assassination of Runodip Singh Bahadur by his Shamsher nephews (and the installation of Bir Shamsher as his successor in 1885), to 1894
Lot 251
NEPAL An important album of views in the Kathmandu Valley, and portraits of the Rana dynasty assembled for someone in the British Residency, and appearing to date principally from the time of the assassination of Runodip Singh Bahadur by his Shamsher nephews (and the installation of Bir Shamsher as his successor in 1885), to 1894
Sold for £9,600 (US$ 16,269) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
NEPAL
An important album of views in the Kathmandu Valley, and portraits of the Rana dynasty assembled for someone in the British Residency, and appearing to date principally from the time of the assassination of Runodip Singh Bahadur by his Shamsher nephews (and the installation of Bir Shamsher as his successor in 1885), to 1894, 76 albumen prints, contemporary captions in ink on mounts, mounts spotted and some dust-soiled, original half morocco, very worn, images are approximately 200 x 275mm., and oblong folio, [c.1885-1894]

Footnotes

  • It is easily forgotten that into the twentieth century Nepal was quite as closed to foreigners as Tibet, and in consequence topographical photographs are rare, even if the ruling elite were much-photographed on forays in British India. The circumstances of many of the images in this album would be explained by the invitation of photographers from British India, presumably through the agency of the British Residency. Certainly some of the topographical views belong to a group attributed to a 1894 visit by Johnson & Hoffman.

    The Residency was established on a 50-acre site in Kathmandu as a consequence of the Treaty of Sugauli, which ended the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-1816. From the images in the album it is clear that the principal buildings of the Residency had been recently rebuilt.

    As a result of the Kot Massacre in 1846, the ruling Shah dynasty was reduced to a titular monarchy, and the celebrated Jung Bahadur became the real ruler of Nepal in his position as prime minister. He established the Rana dynasty in that role. Jung Bahadur maintained the independence of Nepal, while loyalty to Great Britain earned him the Indian Mutiny Medal, in addition to GCB and GCSI. At his death in 1877 Jung Bahadur was succeeded by his brother Maharaja Sir Runodip Singh Bahadur who, in 1885, fell victim to a coup d'etat by his nephews, the Shamsher Ranas, sons of Dir Shamsher. Several of the surviving sons of Jung Bahadur sought refuge in the Kathmandu Residency before exile in India. Bir Shamsher became Nepal's third Rana prime minister.

    Comprises: [Three gentlemen in tweeds]; The Residency (5); Doctor's House; Hospital; Resident's Escort; Nepal Court Indo-Colonial Exhibition 1886 [appears to be the exhibit erected for inspection before despatch] (2); Sir Runodip Singh's Palace; Sir Jung Bahadur's Palace [Thapatali]; Building in King's Palace; Gate on King's Palace; Image of Kala Bhairah; Valley of Katmandu; Temple on Bagmati River; View from back of Residency; Street in Town of Patun; The Palace Patun; Temple of Radha Krishna Patun; Market Place Patun; Temple of Swambynath (3); Ghats of Pushpati. The palace of the dead; Temple of Pushpati; The Palace Bhatgaon; Temple near Bhatgaon; Snowy Range; View at Bimphedi on road to Nepal; On the road to Nepal; Hetowra on road to Nepal; Late King of Nepal (from a picture) [ie. copy print after Clarence Comyn Taylor]; Chief of Nepal [a boy] (2); Sir Runodip Singh. Prime Minister of Nepal (Assasinated 22nd November. 1885); Bir Shamshere. Prime Minister of Nepal; The Shamshere Family; Installation Group; Dhere Shamshere; A parade of the Nepal Army; Run Shamshere; Dev Shamshere; Danbir Shamshere. He was the first to fire at Runodip Singh; Late Chief's brother (A madman); Wife of Dev Shamshere; Senior Wife (out of more than forty!) of General Pudum Jung; Nepalese Ladies and attendants; Newar women weaving; Newar wood carvers at work; Newar workers in brass; Newar peasants; Bhootias (A mountain tribe); Group of Goorung Llamas; Saddlemen; General Sir Jung Bahadur G.C.B. GCSI. Prime Minister of Nepal. Died 1879 [but 1877, S. Bourne?]; General Jeet Jung; Yudh Pertab Jung; General Puddum Jung. A refugee in the Residency. Novr. 1885; General Runbir Jung. A refugee in the Residency. Novr. 1885; General Huruk Jung; General Dhojnur Singh. One of the refugees in the Residency. Novr. 1885; Chief of Nepal and officers [ie. Bir Samshere, his brothers, etc.]; Mission from China, and Nepalese Generals [ie. Bir Shamshere et al]; The Rana Family; Ceremony of naming the young Chief; Procession with China Mission; General Khuruk Shamshere (The leading spirit of the revolution); General Chandra Shamshere; Futteh Shamshere; Lullut Shamshere; Balajee. (Sacred spring near Katmandu); The Snows [repeat of 'Snowy Range'].
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