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The King of Oude, his Brother, and Attendants
London: Ackermann and Co., , [1840] . Sketched while of their Visit to England, by a Lady. Small octavo (179 × 142 mm) Original red cloth, elaborate panel in blind, title in gilt to upper board, neatly rebacked in burgundy morocco with title longitudinally in gilt. 8 lithographic plates, hand-coloured and heightened in gum arabic. Boards a little rubbed, some ink spatter to the upper board and worm traces to both boards, short split to title page, archivally repaired, mild, scattered spotting, occasional bleed from the colouring onto the guards, one plate with minor adhesion to the gum-arabic, about very good. First and only edition. Extremely uncommon: BL copy only on COPAC and OCLC; not in Abbey. The plates, which are signed in the stone "HJ", were the work of "a lady, then an invalid" who was "staying in the same hotel in London in which the Prince had taken his residence." She "endeavoured to draw the different costumes with as much accuracy as the transient glances she could obtain of the individuals when passing up and down stairs, or moving to or from their apartments, would permit." The profits from the work were to be given to the Consumption Hospital, Brompton. Iqbal al-Daula Muhsin 'Ali Khan was the son of Shams al-Daula Ahmad 'Ali Khan and grandson of Sa'adat 'Ali Khan, Nawab of Lucknow, 1798-1814. He visited England in 1838 to put forward his claim to the throne of Oudh. The presence of this exotic entourage stirred considerable interest, and the strangely "snatched", paparazzi-like quality of these drawings (the interpreter is shown from behind, and several images show figures on the stairway) seems entirely in keeping. Having failed to persuade the government to reverse the ruling against him, he spent the rest of his life in Turkish Arabia, being a familiar figure in Baghdad. He published his memoirs under the title Iqbal-i-Farang, died in 1887. An attractive, highly allusive, and elusive piece of Victorian Orientalism.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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