Paper Jewels is the story of postcards right through the Raj, and covers India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Burma. It’s the first book on the subject and contains one of the most most beautiful and popular postcards telling the stories of the first postcard publishers between 1892 and 1947. The essays cover the major cities and regions important to postcard publishing and the key themes-from dancers to religion, to tea, soap, famines, fakirs, humour and warfare. The volume uncovers such gems as the early postcards of the great Indian painter M V Dhurandhar and the Ravi Varma Press, the exceptional work of an early Austrian lithographer in Kolkata and a German one in Mumbai. A number of the images in the book have never been published since their first runs a century ago.
“The publication of this unique collection of Indian postcards, painstakingly compiled and researched…constitutes a fascinating and evocative account of the social, cultural, economic and photographic environments in which they were produced.”-John Falconer, creator and former Curator of Photographs, The British Library
“Omar Khan’s expansive and scrupulous presentation offers not only visual fascination and immense pleasure but also a large number of insights into the cultural and political worlds within which these humble messengers moved.”-Christopher Pinney, Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture, University College London
“The fruits of his labour of love, the creator interweaves painstaking research with his charming personal history. Paper Jewels is a page-turner and will be a treasure to cherish.”-Partha Mitter, creator and historian of art and culture
“Omar Khan’s Paper Jewels is a refreshing account of the Raj, brought to life through a delightful collection of postcards, every of which captures, in vibrant detail, the local flavours of the time and opens windows into enchanting forgotten worlds. More than a will have to-read, this is a will have to-have volume!”-Shashi Tharoor, creator and Member of Parliament
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