100 Vintage Views


BOURNE, Samuel

A bank clerk and amateur photographer working in Nottingham in the 1850’s. Bourne arrived in India in January 1863, where the firm of Howard, Bourne and Shepherd was established in Simla. By 1865 the business had become Bourne and Shepherd and additional studios were established in Calcutta (1867) and Bombay (1870). Bourne made three celebrated photographic expeditions to Kashmir and the imalayas between 1863 and 1866, which he described at length in a series of letters published in the British Journal of Photography. He finally left India in 1870, although the firm of Bourne and Shepherd continues to this present day.


BURKE, John and BAKER, William

In 1861 retired sergeant William Baker of the 87th regiment became one of the first commercial photographers in Peshawar and in the North- West frontier, the area between British India and what was at the time Afghanistan (modern day Pakistan). He had arrived in India in 1850 but opted out of military service to pursue a career as a ‘photographist’. William Baker partnered with John Burke, a young assistant apothecary from the Royal Artillery, whose units provided firepower to British infantry and cavalry regiments throughout the world. Although they worked together and were known as Baker and Burke, the latter’s career as a photographer was significantly longer and was the more important of the two. Baker retired from commercial photography by 1873 with Burke setting up his own studio as the ‘Late Baker and Burke’. He worked for a further forty years of varied output in the most turbulent sector of the British Raj. He was also hired to take the photographs which appear in H. H. Cole’s Illustrations of ancient buildings in Kashmir (London, 1869). Between 1871 and 1879 as official photographer to the army he made an important record of the Second Afghan War. In 1885 he opened a studio in Lahore, which continued trading until 1903. His son William, born in 1861 was employed in his father’s firm and later opened his own studios in Madras and Ootacamund.


FRITH, Francis and Co

Francis Frith is mainly known for his work in Egypt, Syria and Palestine during the years 1856 – 1859. In 1859 he establishes Francis Frith and Co, which became an important publisher of photography, producing very fine photographically illustrated books and supplying portfolios, stereoviews and postcards. Through its staff photographers it assembled a vast archive of topographical views of England, France, Italy, Spain, Gibralter, Portugal, Malta, Belgium, Switzerland etc of which a large portion were taken in India. After Frith’s death his sons ran the firm, issuing large numbers of photographs with the blindstamp F Frith and Co or Frith Series.


HOOPER, Colonel Willoughby Wallace

Served in the 7th Madras Cavalry 1858. A prolific amateur photographer from the early 1860’s. Hooper was seconded from military duties from October 1861 to June 1862 to take a series of ethnographical photographs in the central provinces, a number of which later appeared in the People of India (8 vols, London 1868 – 1875). In about 1872 he produced for sale in collaboration with George Western a series of views illustrating tiger hunting and in 1876-1878 photographed victims of the Madras famine. As Provost-Marshall with the Burma expeditionary force of 1885 -1886 he made a record of the campaign, published as an album entitled Burmah: a series of one hundred photographs and also as lantern slides. After the campaign he was officially censored for attempting to photograph a military execution at Mandalay.


IMPEY, Col.Eugene Clutterbuck

Served in the 5th Bengal Cavalry 1851. Assistant agent to the Governor General, Rajputana 1856: Political Agent at Alwar 1858; Military secretary to the Viceroy Lord Lawrence 1863 – 1864; Resident, Nepal; retired 1878. A prolific and skilled photographer, Impey was a frequent contributor to exhibitions of the Bengal Photographic Society and a committee member in the mid 1860’s. A collection of his photographs was published in his Delhi, Agra and Rajputana, illustrated by eighty photographs (London, 1865).


JOHNSON, William, J.

A clerk and assistant in the Uncovenanted Civil Service (The Uncovenanted Civil Service was recruited almost entirely from persons born in India, whether European, Eurasian or Asian), Bombay 1848 – 1861. A founder member and secretary of the Bombay Photographic Society in 1854, he was editor of the society’s journal. Johnson also ran a daguerreotype studio in Bombay from 1852 – 1854 and a photographic studio from about 1855 until the late 1860’s, the latter briefly in partnership with William Henderson. The pair collaborated on the production of the Indian Amateurs Photographic Album, which ran for 36 issues between 1856 – 1858, each number containing three original prints. On his return to England, he published the photographically illustrated The Oriental Races and Tribes, Residents and Visitors of Bombay (2 Vols, London, 1863 – 1865).


MURRAY, Colin Roderick.

He was a photographer in Jaipur from 1867 – 1870. Murray joined the firm of Bourne and Shepherd in 1871, and with the departure of Samuel Bourne became the firm’s leading landscape photographer. In 1872-1873 he made a photographic tour whose results were published in James Burgess’ Photographs of Architecture and Scenery in Gujarat and Rajputana (Bourne and Shepherd, Calcutta, 1874).


NEILL, Andrew Charles Brisbane.

Neill served in the Indian medical service, Madras, 1838 – 1858. His photographs of temple architecture at Halebid and Belur were exhibited and praised at the Madras Industrial Exhibition of Raw Products, Arts, and Manufacture of South India, 1855. He was a friend of the photographer Richard Banner Oakeley, who worked at Halebid in 1856. Neill photographed at Lucknow during the Mutiny in 1857. His photographs were shown at the Photographic Society of Bengal meeting in March 1857 and appear in James Fergusson and Philip Meadows Taylor’s Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore (1866).



Nicholas contributed photographs to the exhibitions of the Madras Photography Society from 1858 and to the Calcutta International exhibition in 1884. His studio in Madras ran from c.1861 until at least 1905, although Nicholas himself had probably left India by the mid 1890’s. A London branch of the firm was in business briefly in 1866 and a branch was opened in Ootacamund c.1868. Partnership was shared with H. V. Curths c.1869 through the 1870’s when the name of the firm was Nicholas and Curths. Nicholas and Co. published a catalogue of Photographic Views, Chemicals & c. in 1881. A member of the Nicholas family opened a studio in Mackay, Australia, in 1879.


RUST, Thomas A.

Thomas Rust started his photographic career in about 1869 as assistant to F.W. Baker & Co in Calcutta, and was running the Calcutta Photographic Company with W.T. Burgess from 1870-1873. From about 1874 he was managing his own studios in Allahabad, Mussoorie, Murree, Landour and Meerut. His son Julian joined the firm in about 1899, and managed it until shortly before the First World War.


SACHÉ John Edward

Travelling from the United States, Saché arrived in Calcutta in late 1864. He entered into partnership with W. F. Westfield in 1865, based at 15 Waterloo Street, and became a member of the Bengal Photographic Society. The same year, the firm Saché and Westfield won the Silver Medal for the second best series of ‘at least 10 photographs’ at the annual exhibition of the society. The firm was also commissioned by the Asiatic Society of Bengal to photograph a group of Andamanese people, who had been brought by a Mr Homfray to Calcutta as part of an ethnographical study. In 1866 Saché and Westfield also received a bronze medal at the annual exhibition of the Bengal Photographic Society. In 1869 the firm was to incorporate the negative stock of the firm F.W.Baker & Co. into its catalogue. While remaining in partnership with Westfield, Saché opened his own independent studio in Nainital in 1867. Saché subsequently went into partnership with Mr J Murray for a short period, with a studio on Rampart Row in Bombay. Together they produced some unusual views of the Marble Rocks at Jabalpur. The same year Saché made an expedition into the Himalayas, trekking through to Pir Panjal glacier. By 1870 he had ended his partnership with Westfield and concentrated on his own business in Nainital. He travelled widely in northern India and his Lucknow studio opened in 1871. In 1873-74 he made a series of views in Kashmir which were to be the last topographical views he made. Between 1874 and 1876 seasonally operating studios were opened in Meerut, Cawnpore and Benares. Saché started another branch of his business in 1876 in Mussoorie and continued to manage it, along with the studios at Nainital and Lucknow, until his death in 1882.


SHEPHERD, Charles and ROBERTSON, James

Charles Shepherd is known to have been commercially active as a photographer from at least 1858 when he collaborated with Robert Tytler in taking a portrait of Bahadur Shah, the ex-king of Delhi. The partnership of Shepherd and Robertson lasted only from about 1862 – 1863, with studios first at Agra and then Simla. James Robertson was mainly known for his work in the Crimea, Turkey and wider Mediterrenean. During this year together, Shepherd and Robertson created an extensive collection of topographical and ethnographical studies of northern India. In 1863 the partnership was dissolved when Charles Shepherd moved to Simla to join Samuel Bourne in the firm of Bourne and Shepherd. A number of Shepherd and Robertson’s studies of racial types became part of the Bourne and Shepherd catalogue. Shepherd appears to have left India by about 1878



Taurines ran a studio in Bombay from 1885 until c.1902 around which time he appears to have left India. In the mid 1880’s he made an extensive documentation of the construction of the Victoria Dock, Bombay and was briefly in partnership with Charles Nicond as Taurines, Nicond & Co. from 1891-1892.


TRIPE, Major-General Linnaeus.

An amateur photographer in the Madras army, Tripe probably took up photography in the late 1840’s and served as official photographer with the British Mission to the court of Ava in 1855, during which he produced a portfolio of 120 views of Burmese architecture and landscape. From 1856 – 1858 he was presidency photographer in Madras, producing architectural views, which later appeared in the following publications, all issued in 1858: Photographic Views of Poodoocottah (10 plates), Photographic Views of Ryakotta and other places in the Salem District (10 plates), Photographic Views of Seringham (9 plates), Photographic Views in Tanjore and Trivady (23 plates), Stereographs of Madura (70 plates), Stereographs of Trichinopoly (70 plates).