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Hello all,
I wonder whether anyone could help me identify this calotype of an Indian temple?
The handwriting on the verso reminds me of John McCosh's.
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Meir
P.S:I thought I should clarify that I am trying to identify the photograper of the calotype.
I know that the temple depicted is the Mandhardevi temple in Wai Taluka in the Satara district in India, where 300 people were killed and 200 injured in a stampede on 25th January 2005.



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Comment by John Bradley on November 25, 2009 at 21:51
Regarding the handwriting part of the question: I recently undertook a piece of research in collaboration with Dr Ian Turner, a forensic scientist who specialises in handwriting identification. I was struck by how potentially misleading handwriting could be to a layman such as myself. Several examples of handwriting that looked to be by the same hand to me, were shown to be from different writers when subjected to proper scientific analysis. Ian explained how easy it is for a modern viewer to be fooled by what he terms the ‘class characteristics’- similarities between individuals or groups of individuals taught the same or similar writing systems at a particular period of time. Only when he went beyond those similarities and built up a letter by letter typography for each writer was it possible to extract the ‘individual characteristics’ – those elements that were unique to a specific writer.
Comment by Roger Taylor on November 9, 2009 at 11:49
I agree this early print has some of the attributes we associate with McCosh, especially the distinctive trimming of the corners and black borders. But before we jump to a conclusion, have you looked at the album of his work at the National Army Museum where you can compare both his handwriting and the size of prints. It would also help if you could confirm the location of this image in the Satara District with McCosh's Army records, either at the NAM, or the India Office Records at the British Library.

I have a note of McCosh being involded in two campaigns:- 2nd Sikh War, 1848, and the 2nd Burma War 1853, which closely correspond to the photographs in the NAM album.

Let me know if there is anything further and good luck with the research.................Roger

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