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Les Hindous.Paris, chez l'auteur & H. Nicolle, 1808-1812. 4 volumes. 1mo (ca. 56 x 41 cm). Title-pages of each volume with hand-coloured etched vignette, and 288 etched plates (36 double-page) printed in colour and finished by hand. Contemporary red half morocco, gold-tooled spine, shell-marbled sides.
Abbey, Travel 430; Colas 2767 ("ce livre est rare et il n'existe que très peu d'exemplaires complets"); cf. Hardgrave, "A portrait of Black Town", in: Changing Visions, Lasting Images, pp. 31-46. Rare first edition of Solvyns's Les Hindous, a rich and compelling ethnographic portrait of India, with accompanying text in French and English. Francois Baltazard Solyns (1760-1824) resided in Calcutta from 1791 to 1804. In 1794 he began work on a series of plates portraying the Hindus of Calcutta. This series was published in 1799 as A collection of two hundred and fifty coloured etchings, but, lacking the appeal of the picturesque, it proved a financial failure. In 1804 he left India for France, redrew the plates and published them in the present striking volumes.In very good condition, with some foxing, tear in lower right corner of the first title-page, bindings show some wear, spines damaged. Extraordinary visual record of life in India at the end of the 18th century.
      [Bookseller: ASHER Rare Books (Since 1830)]
Last Found On: 2014-08-13           Check availability:      NVvA    


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