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Burmese Princes - a royal group at the Durbar, Delhi, India

Burmese Princes - a royal group at the Durbar, Delhi, India

Photographer: Underwood and Underwood

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 180/(3)

Item number: 1803

Length: 8.8

Width: 17.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic pair of photographs taken by Underwood & Underwood of Burmese princes at the Coronation Durbar held in January 1903 at Delhi in India. The photographs show two Shan rulers (sawbwas) standing with their wives seated between them, the group posed against an ornamental backdrop and shaded by a tiered royal umbrella, at the grand durbar held in honour of the coronation of Edward VII. The prints are from a collection of 36 stereoscopic views of Burma, one in a series of "stereoscopic tours" of foreign countries published as the ‘Underwood Travel Library’. Stereoscopic views became enormously popular from the mid-19th century onward as they enabled observers to imagine that they were really “touring” around distant parts of the world. Each pair of views, made using a special camera with two lenses, is mounted on stout card for insertion in a stereoscope or binocular viewer. This device creates the illusion of a single three-dimensional image in the mind of the observer by using the binocular function of human sight to combine the two images, which are seen from fractionally different viewpoints. The photographs in this set are generally of high quality and selected for their clarity and instructive value. A few of the mounts also have a detailed descriptive caption printed on the reverse, with instructions (presumably for the guidance of teachers) as to what general topic the photograph illustrates.

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