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How beauty takes the air - Indian 'reet' or bullock carriage used by ladies of rank - Ulwar, India

How beauty takes the air - Indian 'reet' or bullock carriage used by ladies of rank - Ulwar, India

Photographer: Ricalton, James

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 181/(85)

Item number: 85

Length: 8.9

Width: 17.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic photograph of a bullock-cart at Alwar in Rajasthan, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This image is described by Ricalton in 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907), "[the bullock-cart] is quite stylish in its way, although to us it seems quaint and antiquated; there is splendid dignity in the bullocks; they are surely conscious of a bovine elevation far above the water-buffalo who wallows in the paddy-fields...The harness is simple enough-a guiding rope through the nose, sometimes an additional hole through the ear with cord attached when a steed assert his own whims too persistently...When women of rank go out in this carriage the curtains are carefully drawn, and when they enter or leave it they are entirely enscreened from outside gazers." 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 to enable the 'traveller' to imagine that he was really there. 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.

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