A Poet in Kashmir. [Cover title]
[Kashmir]: 1933. 7 x 11-3/4 inches. 28 leaves containing 52 b&w photographs and three blue photographs, as well as 17pp of holograph poetry, written in white on the black leaves, and two hand-painted color illustrations. Black hardcover post-bound album stamped in gilt. A few photos starting to come loose, else fine. Very Good or better.
An exquisite photograph album about the travels through Kashmir of one man and two women -- all white, possibly British, inscribed only to "Auntie Gillmore" -- filled with vernacular photographs of the countryside and local people. Nearly all of the photographs are captioned, and the three blue photos appear to be made after the method devised by Frank A. Perrett to photograph volcanoes in the early 1900s, rather than being cyanotypes.
The trio's journey is narrated in rhymed poetry written by the man of the group, as revealed on the last page: "The author of the photographs, / And also of the paragraphs, / Is standing on the Kamri Pass, / Complete with alpenstock and glass. / He hears you say, 'The verse might be / A little better,' but, you see, / His job lies not in making rhymes, / It's more prosaic, and the times / When he is bold enough to write / His thoughts in measured words are quite / Rare and few and far between: / Hence all the nonsense you have seen."
The poetry, in this cataloguer's estimation, could, indeed, be better, but it nevertheless illuminates the trio's travels, which begin in Srinagar and proceed through the Sind Valley and the Kamri Pass. Included are gorgeous shots of Mt. Nanga Parbat, Srinigar waterways, a market stall, a rice barge converted into a houseboat, Gurais, and much more. Additionally, two illustrations, one of a flower and one of a pair of colorful hummingbirds, have been painted with a deft hand on two leaves.
A handsomely-produced record of a remarkable journey through 1930s Kashmir.