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Estimate: Rs 1,00,000-Rs 1,50,000 ( $1,285-$1,925 )

Stereoscopic Library: INDIA, Volumes I & II [STEREOGRAPH SET WITH VIEWER]


Silver gelatin print mounted on stereoscopic cards

Variable Size


The collection of 100 stereoscopic views depicts urban and provincial Indian scenes by Keystone View Co., contained in a custom-made case in the form of a book entitled India (Volume I and Volume II). Stereocards housed in original mock two-volume bookcase, spine with twin gilt lettering and decoration.

The cards are numbered 1 - 100 and are each lettered in multiple languages on the reverse (English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Russian) in two volumes. Each pair of views is mounted on stout card (now somewhat bowed) for insertion in a viewer. Each mount is stamped 'Keystone View Company', with letterpress caption and serial number. The photos mention copyright next to their captions on the recto. The reverse of each mount has a detailed letterpress description of the scene shown in the photograph.


Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionized photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.

Album contents in order:-
[View] Over university and Secretariat (sq. tower), S. from Rajabai Tower, Bombay, India.
The most magnificent railway station in the world, Bombay, India.
Parsis worshipping the new moon - view E. to B.B. & C.I. Ry. [Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway] building, Bombay, India.
Tower of Silence, where vultures devour the Parsi dead, Malabar Hill, (N.E.), Bombay, India.
Hindu burning place, S. from near Malabar Hill - cremating the dead Bombay, India.
Drunken dance of the eight-armed divinity, Shiva, rock-hewn temple, Elephanta, India.
One of the world's marvels - beautiful Dravidian temple cut in solid rock, Ellora, India.
'There is no god but God and Mahomet is His Prophet' - prayers in a mosque, Ahmedabad, India.
Primitive native life of India - Hindu women grinding at the mills, Mt Abu.
Hermit at Gem Lake doing penance - exposed to mid-day sun and intense fires - Mt Abu, India.
Dilwarra, the noted Jain Temples, on the almost inaccessible Mt. Abu, India.
Worshippers before an image in the exquisitely carved temple of Vimala Sah, Mount Abu, India.
India of tomorrow - handsome schoolboys of Amritsar, at the Golden Temple beside the Holy Tank.
Fakirs at Amritsar - south across the Sacred Tank to Golden Temple - India.
Looking S.W. down the street of oriental shops and homes to Vazir Khan Mosque, Lahore, India.
Rival pot-sellers in the chatty market. Lahore, India - bargains for thrifty housewives.
Leisure and gossip by the old Zamzamah gun that roared in the Battle of Puniput [Lahore].
Crossing the boiling floods of Jhelum River by a bridge of one raw-hide rope, at Uri, India.
Wayfarers on a straight 30-mile road lined with stately poplars, Baramulla to Cashmere, India.
An earthly paradise, famous Vale of Cashmere, watered by the winding Jhelum, India.
Land of Lalla Rookh - westward from the 'Throne of Solomon' - Srinagar, Cashmere.
Everyday life in the Vale of Cashmere - [view looking] S.W. to quaint bridge and houses in the City of the Sun [Srinagar].
Shelling rice and gossiping with the neighbours - home life of contented citizens of Cashmere.
Delights of summer in the Vale of Cashmere - music for a houseboat party on Jhelum River [Srinagar].
Humble shawl-weavers at Cashmere patiently creating wonderful harmonies of line and colour - [Srinagar,] India.
Children are children the wide world round - playing Hop Scotch in Cashmere.
Oriental hospitality - State barges of the Maharajah conveying guests, Srinagar, India.
A hill-country 'Ekka' with passenger and baggage, coming from Cashmere to Murree, India.
Simla, the beautiful Himalayan Mountain resort, from the highway to Kalka, India.
Before Christ Church, at Simla, India's charming 'Summer Capital' in the Himalayan Mountains.
Native stores and traders, [looking] N.W. along lower Bazaar, Simla, the 'Summer Capital' of India.
South front of Viceregal Lodge, Palace of the Viceroy, at Simla the summer capital of India.
Jutogh, a military station, [looking] W.N.W. from Prospect Hill, Simla, India.
Charming Naldera, a favourite retreat of Lords Lytton and Curzon - [looking] S.S.W. towards Simla, India.
Inflating bullock-skin boats - for crossing the swift Himalayan River Sutlej, N. India.
Native 'Bhuji' girls on the rocky banks of the Himalayan River Sutlej, N. India.
Nepalese porter girls who carry luggage many miles for twopence - Darjeeling [looking] N.E., India.
A 20-woman team on Darjeeling highway [looking] N. - Who would not be a man.
Bhutanese milkman with curious bamboo-jars, at the public water fountain, Darjeeling, India.
Up to the everlasting snows of Mt Kinchinjanga (28,156 ft), north from Darjeeling, India.
Clean and airy Chowringhee Road (Esplanade at left) looking N. over Calcutta.
Welcome fellows in thirsty India - Bheestis (water carriers) with their leather bottles - Calcutta.
Bathing at a ghat on the Ganges near Howrah Bridge, Calcutta.
Street showmen exhibiting superbly handsome snakes before an admiring crowd, Calcutta, India.
Looking N.W. across tree-shaded Dalhousie Sq., and its charming lake to P.O., Calcutta, India.
How Hindu cows enjoy life in Calcutta - sidewalk scene on Harrison St., looking W., India.
Hindu Goddess Kali the Terrible, who demands bloody sacrifice - an idol in street, Calcutta, India.
Seven goats slain but Kali wants more - horrid sacrifice to the Hindu Goddess - Calcutta, India.
Hindu devotee doing penance on a bed of spikes near the shrine of Kali, Calcutta, India.
Famous 'man-eater' at Calcutta - devoured 200 men, women and children before capture - India.
Jain Temple, the richest place of worship in Calcutta, India.
Among the aerial roots of a single banyan tree 1000 ft. in circumference, Calcutta, India.
Grasses at whose feet men are like insects - bamboos in Botanical Gardens, Calcutta, India.
H.H. the Maharaja of Tagore in Durbar costume, jewels worth $200,000 - Calcutta.
A burning ghat on the Ganges, at Benares, India.
Who dies in the waters of the Ganges obtains Heaven - bathing and burning Hindu dead - Benares, India.
Hindu pilgrims bathing in the sacred well of their god Vishnu - N. bank of Ganges, Benares, India.
Suttee pillar at a Benares burning Ghat, where Hindu widows died on husbands' funeral pyres.
Dabee Chowdray Palwan at Benares, India, a vegetarian of 46 years, lifting a 560 lb. weight.
Peaceful now, but stained with horrible memories - Massacre Ghat on Ganges, Cawnpore, India.
Memorial at Cawnpore to British women and children massacred by Nana Sahib, 1857, India.
Industrious dhobies (washer men) at work in river, W. from Lucknow, India.
Baillie Gate from E., torn by mutineers' guns during siege; where rescuers entered - Lucknow, India.
Lucknow's memorial to Sir Henry Lawrence and heroes who died in '57 (view N.W.), India.
Camel drivers waiting at S.E. side of a gateway to the famous Taj Mahal, Agra, India.
A marvel of beauty - looking N. to Taj Mahal, marble tomb of a Mogul Queen, Agra, India.
Most beautiful marble screen in the world, around imperial sarcophagi, Taj Mahal, Agra, India.
A lovely scene of Indian romance and tragedy, [looking] N.W. from Mahal up the Jumna to Agra.
Marvellously inlaid gate to the tomb of Akbar, Mogul emperor of the 16th century, Sikandarah [Sikandra], India
Tomb of Akbar, Mogul emperor 300 years ago, marble lattice in the upper storey, Sikandarah [Sikandra], India.
Akbar's tomb, Sikanadarah [Sikandra], India (Kohinoor was once set in pillar beyond kneeling man).
Celebrated Man Singh [Man Mandir] Palace, Gwalior, covered with carvings and enamelled tiles.
Great Durbar Hall in Palace of H.H. the Maharaja of Gwalior, one of India's richest princes, [Lashkar].
H.H. the Maharaja of Gwalior at home - one of the richest men in the world.
Curiously rigged camel-waggons, E. side of largest Mohammedan Mosque in the world - Delhi, India.
Devout Mohammedans prostrate at prayer time - Jumma Musjid, India's greatest mosque, Delhi.
Looking N. from a minaret of the greatest mosque in the world over famous city of Delhi, India.
The Cashmere Gate battered by shot and shell, where the British entered (1857), Delhi, India
Your money's worth of juicy fruit, at a stand on Chandni Chowk (Silver Street), Delhi, India.
Marvels of richness and grandeur - the great Durbar procession, Delhi, India.
The fabulous wealth of India - native Princes in the grand State Entry, Durbar, Delhi, India.
Kutb Minar, from N.E. - Moslem Tower of Victory near Delhi, India; 240 ft. high, base 47 ft. diam.
Gigantic embroidery in stone at the base of Kutb Minar, Moslem Pillar of Victory, Delhi.
One of the loveliest spots in India - kiosk-bordered tank at Ulwar by the stately tomb of royalty.
How beauty takes the air - Indian 'reet' or bullock carriage used by ladies of rank - Ulwar, India.
North from Sanganer Gate, up Jauhri Bazaar, a typical business street in prosperous Jeypore, India.
The Palace of the Winds, Jeypore, India, beautiful as a shell with pink and cream-coloured stucco.
A masterpiece of oriental magnificence - palace of the Maharaja of Jeypore, India.
Sacred monkeys at Galta near Jeypore, India, fascinating even to those not inclined to worship.
The scene of dead splendours - looking across the ancient city of Amber to mountain fortress - India.
Relics of a romantic past - Tower of Victory (15th cent.) and royal cenotaphs, Chitor, India.
A fascinating glimpse of Hyderabad, India, famous for its embroideries, enamels and lacquers.
The substantial elegance of modern Madras - Law Court Buildings - view from Bank, India.
Guardian of Hindu mysteries - [looking] S.W. to the gateway and sculptured Temple Tower, Tanjore, India.
A car of Jagannath in which the Hindu god Krishna rides, drawn by worshippers - Tanjore, India.
Trichinopoly, India, where Lord Clive once lived - [looking] N.E. across town to the fortress and famous rock.
[Looking] N.E. to gate towers of Seringham temple, Trichinopoly, India, where idols' jewels are worth millions.
Inconceivable elaboration and splendour of Madura's Hindu temple - two of its nine pagodas.
Grotesque fancy and patient skill of Hindu sculptors - pillars of the temple, Madura, India.
Corridor 700 feet long, splendid granite temple of Ramisseram, Paumben Island, So. India.

The Keystone View Company was founded in 1892 in Meadville, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. by amateur photographer B. L. Singley (Benneville Lloyd Singley), who previously was a salesman for Underwood & Underwood.

The Keystone View Company later bought the negatives of different stereoview manufacturers, including Underwood & Underwood and H.C. White. The present set of cards had initially been released by Underwood & Underwood.

There was an increased popularity of stereographs between 1898 and 1906, during which Keystone (like Underwood & Underwood) entered the box-set market. Along with topographical, nature, events and genre-view scenes, Keystone also began an Educational department in 1898 which issued sets illustrating geography, commerce, technology, history and natural studies.

After 1920 the Keystone View Company was the major global publisher of stereoviews, between 1915 and 1921 they had bought the negatives of nearly all of their competitors. With offices all over the world at this time the company was successful, especially from the sales of World War I stereoview sets.

In 1978, the company's archive of about 350,000 items were donated to the University of California Riverside in the California Museum of Photography (UCR -CMP), where they are now known as the Keystone-Mast collection and is claimed to be the largest collection of stereoscopic prints and negatives in the world.