Page 8 - Astaguru Auction - Rare Book On Hindoosthan on 23 may 2018
P. 8

Introduction






                                                                                                                                                  An intelligent person did say, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep
                                                                                                                                                  its edge.” And therefore for millenniums ‘Books’ have safeguarded and secured our wisdom,
                                                                                                                                                  creative cognizance and evolutionary legacy. Books provided a glimpse into sights and cultures,
                                                                                                                                                  hereby enabling the process of exchange and circulation of knowledge at its zenith.


                                                                                                                                                  Astaguru’s ‘Rare Books on Hindoostan’ auction circumvents in exactitude the essence of what a
                                                                                                                                                  Book signifies. It is a bewildering idea to perceive the world as it was merely 200 years ago. The
                                                                                                                                                  technological innovations, and more so the rapid pace of progress, deems the challenges of the
                                                                                                                                                  past seem hard to imagine. However the reality was that the world was fragmented, and with
                                                                                                                                                  the means of communication contained and limited, knowledge about kingdoms and people
                                                                                                                                                  was opaque.


                                                                                                                                                  None the less with the western world exploring Hindoostan, the need to learn about this exotic
                                                                                                                                                  and fecund land became a necessity. Travellers, explorers and commissioned artists from all over
                                                                                                                                                  the world travelled across seas to capture the essence of the many regions through sketches and
                                                                                                                                                  drawings which were then engraved and published as portfolios and books. Thus these books
                                                                                                                                                  became the tool and medium through which the world got introduced to our culture, traditions,
                                                                                                                                                  social structure and existence as people of the Sub Continent. Eminent artists such as Percy
                                                                                                                                                  Carpenter, Thomas Daniell & William Daniell and James Fraser to name a few, flocked to
                                                                                                                                                  India and travelled to distant corners to encapsulate the aura and charm of our land.


                                                                                                                                                  During the transit phase of being unknown and a land of mystery and mystic, to being a well-
                                                                                                                                                  documented part of the world as is in the present, there were a handful of 300 books with
                                                                                                                                                  engravings published pertaining to Hindoostan. Astaguru is pleased to inform you that 60 lots
                                                                                                                                                  in this auction belong to the initial 300 books published, therefore the lots part of our ‘Rare
                                                                                                                                                  Books on Hindoostan’ auction are seminal with regards to the formation of the world’s
                                                                                                                                                  perception about India and its people. These books have been a part of important private and
                                                                                                                                                  public libraries abroad, and it is only justified that they get included in private libraries and
                                                                                                                                                  collections in India since these books represent the formation of our country and people.


                                                                                                                                                  These books are in indeed projections which do not just gambit around the spectrum of formative
                                                                                                                                                  printing methodologies but most importantly chronicles that phase of world history when
                                                                                                                                                  Hindoostan, our diversity, traditions, culture and aesthetic eloquence got revealed to the world.
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