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Leisure and gossip by the old Zamzamah gun that roared in the Battle of Puniput [Lahore]

Leisure and gossip by the old Zamzamah gun that roared in the Battle of Puniput [Lahore]

Photographer: Ricalton, James

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 181/(17)

Item number: 17

Length: 8.9

Width: 17.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic photograph of figures seated in front of the Zamzama gun, at Lahore in the Punjab, Pakistan, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from the The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This large cannon stands in front of the Lahore Museum and it is this gun that the hero is seated astride at the beginning of Rudyard Kipling's 'Kim'. Ricalton wrote in his 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907): "This huge old bronze gun...has been elevated to this conspicuous place of honor beside a great popular thoroughfare where it can be seen by all persons. Like other "big-guns" it has been honored with titular distinctions; it has been called "the hummer", "the roaring lion," "the fire-breathing dragon"...it became a proverb-"Who holds Zamzamah (the roaring lion) controls the Punjab. The Sikhs call it the Bhangianwali Top, which signifies the cannon of the Bhangi confederacy." 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.

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