A gentleman with his personal servants in India, c 1880


The faded photograph of cabinet card size is in an oval reserve 4¼ x 3¼ ins and shows the gentleman, identified on the verso as Watkin Ramsden by his daughter, E Wynn, seated, wearing riding boots and holding a solar topi. He is flanked by two turbanned servants identified in pencil on the verso as Rugbar  and Mienroe. The servant to the left is holding a cup of tea but the one to the right has his hand on his master’s shoulder which seems extremely familiar in an age and place where social distinctions tended to be very rigid. The gesture must have been approved for Mr Ramsden to have chosen to be photographed like this. An unusual glimpse into the social history of those times. apr1/4

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