The History of The Imperial Assemblage at Delhi 1877. A copy with the rare example of the Viceroy’s presentation label


Wheeler, J Tallboys: The History of the Imperial Assemblage at Delhi, held on the 1st January, 1877, to celebrate the assumption of the title of Empress of India by Her Majesty The Queen. Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer [London], 1st edition Quarto [12¼ x 10 ins].

Double page folding coloured map of India, single page coloured map of country around Delhi, double page coloured plate of the Assemblage [a pencil note along the top margin reads H.H. v. saw this Durbar], colour plate of the special gold medal, plate of the banner given to princes, 27 mounted photographic plates [Woodburytypes] comprising 14 portraits The Queen, Viceroy Lord Lytton, rulers of Nepal, Hyderabad, Baroda, Mysore, Gwalior, Indore, Udaipur, Bhopal, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kashmir, and Khelat and 13 views of buildings, Assemblage events, etc, xix 248pp.  Original pictorial blue cloth gilt, front board elaborately gilt blocked with title around a representation of the banner given to princes, spine blocked with title and badges of Order of the Star of India, heavy bevelled boards, some rubbing and wear at extremities and the head and tail of spine, one inch tear with a little loss to the top of the upper joint but the cloth  remains quite bright blue and gilt, all edges gilt, inner hinges split along endpapers but holding well on on the cords, the front free endpaper with the ownership inscription is loose but present and the text block although a little shaken, as is often the case because of the heavy paper, is particularly clean with all the photographic plates perfectly toned and clean. In this rare example the rear board repeats the decoration of the upper board but in blind stamping and it is centred with a 5¼ x 3¾ scarlet leather decorative label gilt with the wording PRESENTED UNDER INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE VICEROY OF INDIA within a decorative border including a royal crown and the badge of the Order of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. A very handsomely produced account of this important landmark event in Indian and Imperial history. Although this copy has a few faults it is now very hard to find good complete copies – usually some of the photographic images (especially the fine portraits) have been plundered. All the photos are of an excellent quality and rich in tone. The detail is invaluable – precise dates of the receptions of chiefs by the Viceroy, details of the Ruling Chiefs present at the Assemblage, list of salutes, lists of those invested with honours, lists of titles awarded [Maharaja, Lokendar, Raja, Rao Bahadur, Rao Sahib, Khan Bahadur, etc], release of various prisoners, increases in payments to the military. There is also a very full list of those attending the Assemblage in an official capacity.   sep17/2

 Provenance: The loose endpaper has an old pencil inscription reading This book belonged to Lord Hobhouse & was brought to Hadspen from London by H. H. v. in 1936.  [The v after H.H. is written as a Roman numeral and probably  indicates Henry Hobhouse the fifth.

Sir Arthur Hobhouse, K.C.S.I., 1st Baron Hobhouse [1819-1904] was the Legal Mmeber of the Supreme Council in India at the time of the Assemblage. He lived at Hadspen House.

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