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Lot No :


Estimate: Rs 7,50,000-Rs 8,50,000 ( $11,540-$13,080 )


A rare book printed by Gaganendranath Tagore at his home on his private hand press. It has 16 large full-page lithographs of satirical pictures or caricatures, 7of them in colour, published in Calcutta in 1917. These poke fun at the Bengali and Anglo-Bengali culture, customs and hypocrisy.

Each caricature is printed on one side of the page only, has the title lithographed below it in English and Banglaand carries the artist's initials [G.T.].

The cover carries the title in Bangla and English, the artist's name [GOGONENDRO NATH TAGORE], the year of publication [1917], the name of the press [VICHITRA PRESS, 5, DWARKANATH TAGORE'S STREET, CALCUTTA], and the name of the lithographer [LITHOGRAPHED BY HARI CH. MANDAL].

Tagore had purchased a lithographic hand press around 1915 which he installed in his house at 5, Dwarkanath Tagore Street [address of the press on the cover], part ofJorasanko Thakurbari, the palatial house of the Tagores. He named the press as Vichitra Press after Vichitra Bhavan, the part of the house where Rabindranath Tagore stayed when he visited Calcutta from Santiniketan. Here, he sometimes drew, colouredand printed cartoons, managing to do everything on the same day, according to Sanjukta Sunderason, a scholar who has studied Tagore's caricatures. As the cover shows, he was helped on the printing side by a lithographer, Hari Mandal, while the publication side was handled by a professional establishment [Indian Publishing House, Cornwallis Street, Calcutta].

This is one of the few examples where, like Picasso, Chughtai and Sadequain, an Indian artist of repute got down to personally overseeing the production side of his work.

The bottom of the back of the page carrying "List of Pictures" reads as follows:
Letter Press printed by Haricharan Manna at the Kantik Press - 22, Sukea Street, Calcutta / Published by Preonath Das Gupta from the Indian Publishing House - 22, Cornwallis Street, Calcutta.

Elephant folio: 17 x 11 inches

CONDITION: Upper cover separated, soiled and chipped along margins but the caricature itself affected minimally. No back cover. But acomplete copy with 15 plates inside and the cover constituting the 16th plate, as stated in the "List of Pictures". A few imperceptible pinholes, some in the blank margin but the rest hardly distract from the charm of the rare, quirky and lovely plates.


A single lithograph from this book sold for the hammer price of Rs 1,90,000 at Pundoles Mumbai auction of 21 April 2016, Lot No. 10.

This lot will be sold in "as is" condition.
There may be some minor tears/creases scratches, or holes commensurate with age that may not be visible in the images.

The books on sale in this auction are rare, out-of-print and otherwise collectible, dating from the 19th century on wards. The technology and material for printing and binding books has evolved over the last few centuries. From being the exclusive preserve of Clergy and Kings to an item of everyday application, the availability and use of books has also evolved over time. Books age over time and deterioration in a book's condition depends on many factors, including the original materials used and conditions of usage over time. Books will often show signs of foxing, fading, shelf-ware or dust jacket damage through usage. Prolonged storage may also cause wormhole damage or water stains.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Storyltd shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.