TRIPE (LINNAEUS)  Views in Burma, 1857
Lot 465*
Sold for £103,250 (US$ 173,440) inc. premium
Lot Details
TRIPE (LINNAEUS) Views in Burma, 112 salt prints from wax paper negatives, mounted, most as issued with captions, printed numbers and Tripe's blindstamp, 11 on modern mounts, with the captions pasted below as in the originals, 11 mounts creased or with cracks repaired on verso, very occasionally reaching image, seven strengthened with archival tissue, one image without caption, images 255 x 340mm., 1857



    Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) was a career army officer in the Madras establishment of the East India Company. During a furlough in 1853 he took his first photographs near his home in Devonport. On his return to India, in December 1854, he took the first photographs of the temples at Halebidu and Belur (Mysore), which were much admired by the 1855 Madras Exhibition. It was recommended that the photographs be purchased for the Court of Directors.

    In June 1855, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General, recommended that Tripe be appointed to Arthur Phayre's mission to Ava. The climate, bad weather and Tripe's health meant that he had to telescope what he expected to accomplish in four months into thirty-six days, during which he made two hundred and nineteen negatives. Most of these are of the temple architecture at Amarapura, the capital of Upper Burma, or along the Irrawaddy, and in Rangoon.

    On his return to Bangalore, Tripe assisted by Henry Yule, (who was to publish an account of the mission), chose one hundred and twenty negatives of which Tripe was required to produce fifty sets. This took most of 1856, (during which some of the negatives were spoiled by the sun's heat), after which each had to be mounted.

    There is no census of surviving sets, but seemingly very few complete (or as here nearly complete) sets have survived. They were not published as such. The sets were arranged in untitled portfolios. Twenty sets were sent home for the Court of Directors, and a further fourteen were distributed by the Indian Government. At some point it was possible to purchase individual prints produced by Griffiths & Co in Madras for two rupees each.
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