Overview for Paper Jewels: Postcards From The Raj
Postcards were to people in 1900 what the Internet was to the world in 2000. The world went from a thousand to a billion postcards in a very short span of time, with the finest painters from India, Austria and Japan getting involved.
Paper Jewels is the story of postcards during the Raj, and covers India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burma. It is the first book on the subject and features hundreds of professionally-restored images in original format, weaving together the postcard artists, photographers, and publishers who define the rich history of the medium. The author's research also charts the history and progression of the technological aspects of postcard publishing and its key players. The concluding chapters explore the role postcards played in the Independence struggle, from the First Non-Cooperation Movement through the Dandi March and Partition. It includes some of the earliest cards of Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and other political figures. Many of the images in the book have not been seen since they were first published nearly a century ago.
Contents: 1. Introduction. 2. Kolkata: Calcutta. a. Darjeeling. 3. Benaras: Varanasi. 4. Bombay: Mumbai. a. Ravi Varma Press; b. M V Dhurandhar. 5. Kashmir. 6. Delhi. a. Agra; b. Simla. 7. Lahore. a. Amritsar; b. Muree. 8. Karachi. a. Sindh; b. Balochistan. 9. Jeypore: Jaipur. 10. Madras: Chennai. a. Bangalore: Bengaluru; b. Ooty: Udagamandalam; c. Malabar. 11. Ceylon: Sri Lanka. 12. North-West Frontier Province: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa . 13. Independence. Postcards were to the people in 1900 what the Internet was to the world in 2000. Postcards can be thought of as the world’s first mass transfusion of images. The world went from thousand to a billion postcards in a very short span of time, with the finest painters from India, Austria and Japan getting involved. Paper Jewels is the story of postcards during the Raj, and covers India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burma. It is the first book on the subject and contains some of the most beautiful and popular postcards telling the stories of the first postcard publishers between 1892 and 1947. The essays cover the major cities and regions important to postcard publishing and key themes- from dancers to religion, to tea, soap, famines, fakirs, humour and warfare. The volume uncovers such gems as the early postcards of the great Indian painter M V Dhurandhar and the Ravi Varma Press, the exceptional work of an early Austrian lithographer in Kolkata to a German one in Mumbai. Many of the images in the book have never been published since their first runs a century ago.