Marvels of richness and grandeur - the great Durbar procession, Delhi, India
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the Delhi Durbar Procession, held to commemorate King Edward VII's Coronation as Emperor of India, taken by James Ricalton in 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This image is described by Ricalton in 'India Through the Stereoscope' (1907): "There was some marvelous and strange function for each day of the Durbar; but I only have time and space to place before you a glimpse of the most splendid and dazzling, the most bewildering and spectacular feature of the entire Durbar, viz.: - the 'State Entry', which included this parade of two hundred and nineteen of the largest and most stately elephants in all India, richly and extravagantly caparisoned in gold and silver and richest silks, and ridden by their princely owners dressed in durbar costumes, sparkling with priceless gems. Here is passing before you now, through Chandni Chowk (Silver Street Market), the most magnificent procession of elephants the world has ever witnessed." 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.