TRIPE (LINNAEUS) Photographs of the Elliot Marbles; and Other Subjects in the Central Museum Madras. Bt Captain L. Tripe, Government Photographer. 1858
Lot 95
TRIPE (LINNAEUS) Photographs of the Elliot Marbles; and Other Subjects in the Central Museum Madras. By Captain L. Tripe, Government Photographer. 1858
Sold for £67,200 (US$ 109,736) inc. premium

Lot Details
TRIPE (LINNAEUS)
Photographs of the Elliot Marbles; and Other Subjects in the Central Museum Madras. By Captain L. Tripe, Government Photographer. 1858, title on upper cover, with letterpress leaf of introduction (dated "Bangalore, June, 1859) and index leaf, 75 albumen prints from dry collodion negatives mounted on 51 leaves (images 240 x 335mm., or smaller, Tripe's blindstamp monogram in blank margins, several numbered in ink, a few in pencil on the image), publisher's printed boards, rebacked, oblong folio, [1858]

Footnotes

  • RARE COMPLETE COPY. Linnaeus Tripe, an army officer serving in the 12th Madras native infantry, became official photographer to the Madras presidency in March 1857. In this capacity he undertook a gruelling 700-mile expedition to photograph places of interest throughout Srirangam, Trichinopoly, Madura, Pudukkottai and Tanjore. On his return he started work on the "Elliot Marbles", which, in addition to its photographic values, "remains a valuable documentary resource" (ODNB). In 1845 Walter Elliot, an employee of the Madras Civil Service, excavated the Bhuddist sculptures from the Great Stupa at Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh, transporting them to Madras from where, a year after Tripe photographed them, they were shipped to London.

    The extreme difficulties in producing the album are described in the introduction: "These photographs were taken by Captain Tripe in the months of May and June, after a wearying tour... Many of the subjects being heavy masses, and therefore not to be easily transported into the open air, were taken as they were lying, in the the rooms of the Museum. To enable him to attempt them at all he was obliged to use a dry collodion process, with which he had only recently made acquaintance. He would point to both these circumstances to account for the unsatisactory pictures he has made of some of these sculptures. In printing from the above mentioned negatives, their density, though apparently in their favor, increased the liability to yellowness in the lights, so much complained of in toning a print on albumenised paper with gold..."
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