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An early 1900s watercolor caricature of a “budmash”

An early 1900s watercolor caricature of a “budmash”

Budmash is a Hindi term for a notorious character – a bad dude. This wonderfully ferocious-looking watercolor painting was done by George E. Macleod (1851-1910) and signed “G.E.M.” Macleod was a civil service commissioner in Oudh and Assam from 1870-1890s. The painting is one of several by Macleod, who was clearly talented, and are part of an archive of correspondence, photographs and caricatures…

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British colonials at play in 1930s India

British colonials at play in 1930s India

I love looking at old images – especially of India. This particular image comes from a large album from the 1930s that features scores of fascinating photographs of unnamed British colonials doing what British colonials did in those days – vale hunting, pig-sticking, show jumping, hunting astride elephants, and attending formal dinners and lawn parties. The album was lovingly kept and many…

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Self-mortification in 18th century India

Self-mortification in 18th century India

The rather uncomfortable-looking set-up is an engraving from an article entitled An Account of Two Fakeers with their Portraits, by Jonathan Duncan, published in book of Asiatic Researches in 1799. The author apparently drew the picture of this Hindu…

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An historic album of signatures

An historic album of signatures

In 1884, knowing she was about to step into history, Seattle’s Rosamond Densmore, one of the first group of women to serve on a jury in Washington Territory, set about collecting signatures of the judges, clerks, lawyers and fellow members of the jury to document her experience. Interestingly, women were first allowed to serve as jurors for a few years when…

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On Mission in China 1890-1914

On Mission in China 1890-1914

Isaac Taylor Headland was a missionary who served in China from 1890-1914 for the American Methodist Episcopal Church. In addition to his religious duties, he authored many books on China, including this book of nursery rhymes in Chinese and English with charming photographs. The rhymes…

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