193 original albumen prints, ranging in size from 180mm x 260mm to 239mm x 290mm, mounted on card, most captioned in ink in English in a fin-de-siècle Vienna hand; approx. 60 with small printed captions mounted to boards; 8 photographs untitled. Oblong 4to. Archduke Franz-Ferdinand - Big Game Hunting in India 1893. Housed in two contemporary morocco backed cases stamped in gilt “Indien” on spine and upper covers, with third box to match. Some occasional bowing of boards, photographs fine and well preserved (with exception of a stock image of the Taj Mahal, lightly faded and some soiling to the mount). Regina Höfer, Imperial Sightseeing: Die Indienreise von Erzherzog Franz-Ferdinand von Österreich-Este (Vienna, Museum für Völkerkunde Wien, 2010). Item #307575
Group of 193 original albumen print photographs documenting the Indian portion of the world tour of Archduke Franz-Ferdinand of Austria (1863-1914). This official voyage of the Archduke, lasting from December 1892 to October 1893, had explicit diplomatic, ethnographic, and scientific aims, as well as an unspoken goal of permitting the Archduke to recover his health after a diagnosis of tuberculosis. The royal party traveled aboard the imperial cruiser Kaiserin Elisabeth, the most modern vessel of the Austrian fleet. They spent two weeks in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) before arriving in India in mid-January 1893. The party spent two-and-a-half months in India before touring Nepal, returning briefly to Calcutta to embark for Singapore at the end of March. The world tour continued with visits in Australia, the Pacific Islands, Japan, Canada, and the American West, before the Archduke sailed from New York to Le Havre.
The Archduke’s stay in India included diplomatic engagements, military reviews, and a formal visit to the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, who was in late Victorian times the richest man in the world. The Archduke was put up in the Nizam’s Bashir Bagh palace. The Archduke also spent considerable time hunting, hawking, pigsticking, bagging some 20 tigers, and leopard, antelope, sambhur, black buck, and just about every other beast of the chase (in Ceylon he had hunted elephant). Franz-Ferdinand was a devoted hunter, whose lifetime game bag exceeded 200,000 animals; on the world tour, his entourage included a huntsman and his taxidemist, Eduard Hodek (1858–1929), who was also the Archduke’s photographer and boon companion. The itinerary of the Archduke’s travels permits the close dating of many of the photographs and events of the trip. (A detailed list of the photographs is available.) An exhibition in Vienna in 1894 publicized the collections made by the Archduke during his world travels, and his diary was published as Tagebuch meiner Reise um die Erde, in two volumes, 1895-6. Upon the death of his father in 1896, Franz-Ferdinand became the heir to the Austrian throne. His assassination at Sarajevo in 1914 proved the spark that sent Europe and the world into war.
The photographs document a wide range of subjects, both formal and informal, including views of the Archduke's activities, grand receptions by the Nizam of Hyderabad, military reviews, sporting and equestrian events, topographical vistas, palace scenes, as well as ethnographic and hunting images, including substantial game bags. Many of the formal photographs of events in Hyderabad were taken by Lala Deen Dayal (1844-1905), noted court photographer to the Nizam, and the first Indian photographer to gain international recognition for his work as a pioneer of photography in India (only a few bear his studio stamp; but the images are identified in Höfer). Some of the views of and around Calcutta are from Samuel Bourne or Bourne and Shepherd.
A spectacular visual record of 1890s India, the opulence of the court of Hyderabad, and sporting episodes in the life of Franz-Ferdinand.
Price: $80,000.00 Free International Delivery