Lot 52
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Captain Robert Melville Grindlay
(1786 - 1877)

Scenery costumes and architecture chiefly on the Western side of India

Captain Robert Melville Grindlay, Scenery, Costumes and Architecture Chiefly on the Western Side of India, London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1830 [but later, text watermarked 1840s]

Engraved title page with hand-coloured vignette, 36 hand-coloured aquatint plates; modern red morocco, gilt, by D Gouey of New York, all edges gilt, spine gilt, preserved in a modern customised (with toggles) book box of Robert and Maria Travis.
42 x 34 x 4 cm

"Next to Daniell, the most attractive colour plate book on India." - TOOLEY

Captain Robert Melville Grindlay (1786-1877), founder of the Grindlays Bank and a self-taught artist, arrived in India in 1803. Only 17 years old at the time, he worked with the East India Company's military service and served with the 7th Bombay Native Infantry from 1804 to 1820. During these years, he travelled widely across the country, and made numerous drawings and sketches on the landscapes and life around him, including views of Bombay, Gujarat and Ellora.

The present lot is a compilation of these plates, which he published upon his return to England, and is a fine copy of one of the most beautiful colour plate books on India. It comprises of 36 aquatints and hand-coloured plates drawn by Grindlay, William Westall and William Daniell RA, among others (engraved by R G Reeves, Theodore Fielding and more). Grindlay went on to found Leslie & Grindlay, an agency house, in 1828. Initially, the agency helped secure travel arrangements of its clientele, to India and back, procuring sea passages, clearing and shipping baggage. The services graduated to banking operations...[and] by 1852 - the year Grindlay retired the firm had become the most distinguished bankers and agents to the civil and military officials of the business community and the British army in India. (Arup K Chatterjee, Robert Melville,, 6 March 2018, online)

Scenery, Costumes and Architecture chiefly on the Western Side of India was first published in six parts, begun in 1826 by Ackermann but taken over by Smith, Elder & Co. It was eventually completed in 1830. The book was also issued by Smith, Elder & Co. in one or two volumes. This is a single volume book.

From the Collection of Robert and Maria Travis (bookplate)
Lot 96E, Bloomsbury Auctions, Travel Books From the Collection of Robert and Maria Travis, 2007
Acquired from the above
Important Private Collection, New Delhi

Reference: J R Abbey Travel in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860, p. 442


  Lot 52 of 100  

4-5 MAY 2022


Winning Bid
Rs 12,60,000

(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)

Category: Books


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