Kevin F. Kelly, bookseller ††† phone: (845) 419-5090 ††† books@kevinkellybookseller.com

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[India]. Gaekwar of Baroda. Hindoo Mythology Popularly Treated: being an epitomized description of the various Heathen Deities illustrated on the silver swami tea service, Presented As a Memnto of His Visit to India to H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, K. G. , G. C. S. I. by His Highness the Gaekwar of Baroda. Madras: Printed by Gantz Brothers | Adelphi Press,, 1875. Square octavo. Title, [4ff.], 42 pp. Printed in gold on japan vellum paper. Publisher's presentation red morocco binding (with their ticket on inner rear pastedown), pink coated endpapers, gilt on covers and spine, front cover lettered and with a central pictorial tool depicting Lord Brahma. Rubbed at the extremities, still an attractive example of a scarce Indian binding.
First edition, a special copy printed in gold, a stunning production in a charming Indian binding. Worldcat locates six copies, none of which mention printing in gold. Scarce as it is in any version, it is a fair presumption that only a limited number (one can be tempted to suggest only one, but I shall not) were printed this way. This is a typical example of a book published in India with the goal of impressing on the English colonizers the depth of ancient civilized culture of India. It is curious that the deities are referred to as "heathen". The Gaekwads, together with the other Maratha chieftains, fought the British in the First Anglo-Maratha War. In 1802, the British intervened to defend a Gaekwad Maharaja who had recently inherited the throne against rival claimants, and the The Gaikwads rule of Baroda began when the Maratha general Pilaji Rao Gaekwad conquered the city from the Mughal Empire in 1721. Gaekwads concluded a treaty with the British that recognized their independence from the Maratha empire and guaranteed the Maharajas of Baroda local autonomy in return for recognizing British suzerainty. Due to its fertile black soil, lush forest and vast treasury (the rewards of numerous military campaigns) Baroda was the wealthiest of the Maratha states. Cotton was a mainstay of Baroda’s economy, which helped fill its coffers with copious amounts of currency. Because of their British allies, the Gaekwars were able to retain power of` this state. In return the British received a share in the state revenue and required representation, a British resident, be at the Maharajah’s court.[2] Maharaja Sayyaji Rao III, who took the throne in 1875, did much to modernize Baroda, establishing compulsory primary education, a library system and the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He also encouraged the setting up of textile factories, which helped create Baroda's textile industry. He is well known for offering a scholarship to study at Columbia University to one of the most prominent Indian Bharat Ratna Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.-[Wikipedia]. (#kfk447) $3750

 

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Kevin F. Kelly, bookseller ††† phone: (845) 419-5090 ††† books@kevinkellybookseller.com