British photographic history

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Why it's worth to be a Devon-born Victorian photographer in Burma in 1855

Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902) was a career army officer in the Madras establishment of the East India Company. In June 1855, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General, recommended that Tripe be appointed to Arthur Phayre's mission to Ava. The climate, bad weather and Tripe's health meant that he had to telescope what he expected to accomplish in four months into thirty-six days, during which he made two hundred and nineteen negatives. Most of these are of the temple architecture at Amarapura, the capital of Upper Burma, or along the Irrawaddy, and in Rangoon.
On his return to Bangalore, Tripe assisted by Henry Yule, (who was to publish an account of the mission), chose one hundred and twenty negatives of which Tripe was required to produce fifty sets. This took most of 1856, (during which some of the negatives were spoiled by the sun's heat), after which each had to be mounted.

Next month, one of these volumes, containing 112 photos, will be under the hammer at Bonhams. The auctioneers expect the Lot to fetch a high price of between £70,000 and £90,000 because very few complete or near complete sets were believed to have survived.

Details of this lot can be found here.

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