India - Mumbai - Johnson, William, William Henderson, A.A. Jacob, and other photographers - Early Photography of India
[Photographs of Western India. c.1855-1862]. 126 albumen prints (only), including 31 with printed caption cut round and mounted below photograph: Surat. English Burial Ground; Tomb of the Moola of the Boras, Surat; Dutch Tombs, Surat; The Gosayins; Ruins in the Citadel of Bijapur; Acbar's Tomb, Agra; A Group of Persians; Temples at Mutlagherry, near Ellichpoor, Northern Berar; Falls of Mutlagherry, near Ellichpoor; Parwari Women; Birds-Eye View of the Church Gate and Esplanade, from the Bank of Bombay; Bombay Green, from the Town Hall; No.4 Christ Church, Byculla. Bombay; No.6 The Cotton Ground, Colaba, Bombay; Group of Pinjaras or Cotton-Carders; No.7 The Cathedral, Bombay; Bombay. No 8 View from the South - East Frontage of the Town Hall; Bombay No. 9 A Wee Bit of the Castle; Bombay No.10 Hindu Shrine near the Railway station, Byculla; Bombay No.11 Panoramic View of the Fort from Colaba; Bombay No. 12 Back Bay, from Malabar Hill; Bombay No.13 A Bit of Malabar Hill; Bombay. No. 14 Temples at Walakeshwar; Bombay No. 15 Malabar Point; No. 6 Comfortable Gosavis; Elephanta. The Brahmanical Cave-Temple. No 1 - The Entrance; No. 2 Specimens of the Pillars; No. 3 Entrance to the Northern Aisle; Entrance to one of the smaller excavations at Elora; Portion of the Monolithic Temple of Kailas at Elora; No. 10 Huzur Pattewalas; these largely 195 x 230mm.; no printed title, only a few cut down parts of the original printed caption leaves pasted in; and 95 photographs without printed captions, albumen prints, varying sizes, some captioned in pencil, some faded, green half morocco album, worn
Estimate £ 5,000-8,000 + fees

Note: The set of William Johnson's Photographs of Western India, c. 1855-62 in the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist Univeristy, appear to be extremely rare. The SMU set is described as "Large three volume set with gold embossed lettering entitled Photographs of Western India. Volume 1 contains views of men, women and children of various sects, professions and workers; some are composite photographs. Volumes II and III include views and panoramas, of cities and towns, many in Mumbai (Bombay), temples, churches, boats, ships, harbours, rivers, railroads, palace ruins, caves and forts. Each photograph is numbered underneath in pencil. Many have the negative number visible on the print having been scratched in the negative. Some images possibly in collaboration with or by William Henderson, Charles Scott, Henry Hinton, Narayan Darjee, George R. Ballinger, H.D. Rae, A.Z. [Albert Zorn] and Capt. Allan N. Scott. Ex libris of British diplomat and Governor of Bombay, Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere"

William Johnson worked as a clerk from 1848 until 1851 in Bombay [Mumbai] and was promoted to Assistant in the General Department in Girgaum, Bombay, where he worked until 1860-61. Although primarily a civil servant he practiced photography extensively, establishing a Photographic Studio in Grant Road, where he produced daguerrotypes and later albumen prints from wet plate collodion negatives.

Johnson was one of the founding members of the Bombay Photographc Society in 1854 and served as the society's Joint Secretary, as well as co-editor of its Journal. For a brief period in 1856-58 Johnson partnered with William Henderson to create photographs of the Indian Amateur's Photographic Album, which was published by the Bomaby Photographic Society and ran for a total of 36 issues between 1856 and 1858.
Some of Johnson's photographs for the Indian Amateur's Photographic Album were reused in Photographs of Western India, and a few years after the Indian Amateur's Photographic Album ceased publication, a number of photographs from it reappeared in Johnson's publication The Oriental Races and Tribes, Residents and Visitors of Bombay: a Series of Photographs with letter-press Descriptions[1863-66], the first two volumes of which comprised 51 mounted photographic prints. This work is considered the first ethnologic writing on India published with photographs.

Interestingly, and helpfully, the present album has a few cropped part leaves loosely inserted, which give the title, number, name of photographer, type of negative, and description of the subject. For instance "Bombay. No. 5 Jooma Musjid. From a Collodion Negative, by H. Hinton, Esq. of Hornby Row Academy" This photograph is number 95 in volume 2 of Photographs of Western India in the copy (3 volumes, 290 albumen prints) belonging to the British diplomat and Governor of Bombay, Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, now in the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University. ( ).
Another cutting from the same work is headed "From a Collodion Negative, by A.A. Jacob, Esq., C.E." and is inserted correctly at the photograph of "Dutch Tombs, Surat". This photograph does not appear to be in the Frere copy . A third cutting of text (not inserted at the right place) is headed "Bombay. No. 16. A Second View of the Walkeshwar Temples. Photographed by Johnson and Henderson" This probably correlates to no. 122 in the Frere/DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University album "Walkeshaw, Bombay - Munguldass Temple [Johnson, William, Henderson, William] [attributed]."

Not all the photographs in the present album are from Photographs of Western India.

Sold for £40,000 (buyer's premium included)