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No. 38. Amerapoora. Portico of the Residency.

No. 38. Amerapoora. Portico of the Residency.

Photographer: Tripe, Linnaeus

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 61/1(38)

Item number: 61138

Genre: Photograph

Photograph by Linnaeus Tripe of the portico of the British Residency building at Amarapura in Burma (Myanmar), from a portfolio of 120 prints. The photographer wrote of this view from the courtyard, looking towards the open-sided portico, 'This covered a square of ninety feet having a dome-like roof of thatched bamboo, and closed on the outer side by a Proscenium for Marionettes, draperied with blue cloth laced with gold and silver. In this portico, the ground being the stage, were performed pu-es (the Burmese opera) for the amusement of members of the mission'. Tripe, an officer from the Madras Infantry, was the official photographer

attached to a British diplomatic mission to King Mindon Min of Burma in 1855. This followed the British annexation of Pegu after the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. Aside from official duties, the mission was instructed to gather information regarding the country and its people. Tripe's architectural and topographical views are of great documentary importance as they are among the earliest surviving photographs of Burma. Amarapura, on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) river, was twice the capital of the Burmese kings of the Konbaung dynasty: from 1782 (the year of its foundation by King Bodawpaya) to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1860, after which Mandalay, 11 km to the north, became capital. Amarapura was the site of the first British Embassy to Burma in 1795, and played host again to Tripe's Mission.

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