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Burmese Travelling Cart

Burmese Travelling Cart

Artist: Grant, Colesworthy (1813-1880)

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: WD540(69)

Item number: 54069

Length: 185

Width: 270

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour with pen and ink of a Burmese travelling cart from 'A Series of Views in Burmah taken during Major Phayre’s Mission to the Court of Ava in 1855' by Colesworthy Grant. This album consists of 106 drawings, mainly landscapes and portraits documenting the British embassy to the Burmese King, Mindon Min (r.1853-1878).

This mission started from Rangoon (Yangon) and travelled up the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River to the royal capital of Amarapura, founded in 1782.

It was despatched by the Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie, and headed by Arthur Phayre with Henry Yule as Secretary. Grant (1813-1880) was sent as official artist, while Linnaeus Tripe was the photographer. This sketch of a cart, shown from two angles, was described by Grant as follows: 'The contrast which the elegantly and laboriously carved bodies of these conveyances form with the massive rusticity of the wheels is strikingly odd, but quite in keeping with the principle which is exhibited in the construction of the lower portions of the beautiful Monasteries, where an elegant and possibly gilt superstructure is raised upon bare and plain posts, in anticipation, of course, of their being occasionally immersed in water. The cart here represented had cushions of red cloth; was sketched at Semphew kyoon, and had most probably been employed to bring one or more of the officials down to the anchoring place of the Flotilla.'

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