H.H. the Maharaja of Tagore in Durbar costume, jewels worth $200,000 - Calcutta
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of H.H. the Maharaja of Tagore photographed in Calcutta, West Bengal, by James Ricalton c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This image is described by Ricalton in 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907), "[His Highness] was dressed in his splendid Durbar costume-that is, his state dress-with jewels and jeweled sword and other precious badges of rank, and a turban of costly fabric with a tuft of finest plumes tipped with rare gems. The front of his turban gleams with a cluster of brilliants. His side-arms and the scabbard of his state sword are encrusted with old diamonds of the first water. He has just arisen from a richly carved state chair of solid satinwood; the drapery about the room is of the finest material and the product of the cunningest loom-craft. His necklace of several strands includes many shells and stones rare and precious. The robe is satin, edged with gold and his sash is a miracle of needle-work." This is one of a series of 100 photographs designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect, which were sold together with a book of descriptions and a map. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century. 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.