Selected plates

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RODRIGUES [RODRIGUEZ] Etienne Alexander.
Madras: Oriental Lithographic Press, [circa 1838].
An album containing 18 hand-coloured lithographed plates, most of Hindoo caste members. Large 4to (11 1/4 x 14 inches). 18 hand-coloured lithographed plates (10 3/4 x 8 1/8 inches and smaller) by Salisbury and others after Rodrigues, printed and published by the Oriental Litho. Press, each tipped onto a backing sheet with applied gold border, all mounted onto laid paper. Expertly bound to style in dark green straight grained morocco, covers with a large onlaid panel of red paper, spine with wide flat bands in six compartments, lettered in the second compartment, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt. A fine album containing a significant selection of Rodrigues’s charming and very rare colour plates published in Madras. The present selection includes two images of the Schatryra or royal caste (a Hindoo King and Queen) with two associated plates showing details of the jewellery the king and queen are wearing, 14 images of the members of other castes (mostly Brahmin), and two images of the Hindu deities, Kali and Siva. Rodrigues, chief draughtsman in Madras for the East India Company, seems to have published at least two illustrated works in Madras in the 1830s and early 1840s: the first one concentrating on the various castes and the second on the Hindoo gods. In 1846 in London, Ackermann published one volume with 50 plates by Rodrigues (or Rodriquez) under the title The Hindoo Castes. The history of the Brahminical Castes. In a contemporary announcement in Allen’s Indian Mail for 1846, the author made clear his intention of publishing a further three volumes on “the three other great divisions of the Hindoo Castes.” This plan apparently never came to fruition. Significantly, the present selection of plates is from Rodriguez’s earlier works published in India, rather than the Ackermann London publication which followed.

Coloured plates in order:

1. Hindoo King (Sooriavamoosam).
2. Hindoo Queen.
3. The Goddess Kalli.
4. Dravedah Bramin (Travelling).
5. Videkal Bramin.
6. A Dravedah Mother.
7. Dravedah Vadamaul. Bridal Dress.
8. Dravedah Vadamaul Bramin. Performing the Linga Pooja.
9. Braminy Widow (browned).
10. Bridegroom. Nulvalaulur Caste.
11. Nulvalaulur (female).
12. Chetty Caste (male).
13. Chetty Caste (female).
14. Nulvalaulur (male).
15. Funeral of Smartah Sect.
16. [no caption] Assorted ornaments and Jewelry including fhose for the feet and head, nose and ears. (14 figs)
17. [no caption ] Assorted ornaments including a Dagger,, Crown, Quiver and a Royal Seal. (9 figs)
18. Uncoloured print. [no title]
Mildred Archer, India Observed p.116.
Hand coloured plates
Costume, Culture/Lifestyle, India, Watercolours
Stock ID