Delights of summer in the Vale of Cashmere - music for a houseboat party on Jhelum River [Srinagar]
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of a musician and a houseboat on the River Jhelum at Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This houseboat is described by Ricalton in 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907), '...made of wood and roofed with shingles; the hull of heavier timber. At the stern are lockers and the kitchen; next to the kitchen is the dining-room or saloon. The first room beyond the open deck is the general utility-room or sitting-room and reading-room combined...The domestics, who usually embrace an entire native family, live in that mat-covered boat at the left...The most conspicuous thing in sight is the itinerant musician who sits by the river bank strumming quaint Cashmerian airs on his sitar.' This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect. The series was sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations to enable the 'traveller' to imagine that he was touring around India. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.