This handsome volume contains a full catalogue of Indian miniatures contained in the India Office Library in London (as at 1980), some 1700 items from the collection of Richard Johnson, who was a Writer in the India Civil Service from 1770-1790. Johnson spent much of his time amassing items of Indian art, and brought these home with him on his recall to London in 1790. The East India Company set up a library in 1807, one of its first purchases being this wonderful collection. The catalogue, first mooted early in the 20th century, took some 75 years to produce, an initial effort having faded away by the late 1920s, and not being revived until the declaration of Indian Independence in 1947 lent the project a new impetus. The book's preface ends with the statement "although it has taken six years to produce the present publication, the catalogue should nevertheless be regarded as the completion of a project first undertaken in 1925".
Toby Falk (1942-1997), who worked at Sotheby's, put the study of Oriental art, and Indian pictures in particular, on a new plane, a lasting monument to his eye and learning alike. His wonderful eye for miniatures and paintings was allied to a natural gift for imaginative research and accurate description.
Mildred Archer OBE (1911–2005) was an English art historian specialising in 18th- and 19th-century art in British India. She was Curator of Prints and Drawings at the India Office Library and wrote extensively on the collection.
Our copy is in excellent condition, with an equally good dust jacket which shows virtually no signs of wear or use. The book itself is bound in tan cloth with no external blemishes, with title etc in gilt lettering on black panels on the spine. Inside, the binding is tight, all pages clean and bright, and the illustrations (both colour and B/W) are all unmarked. A beautiful resource for any student of Indian art of the era .