| Rare finds
into the exhibition 'Rare Finds' and you find yourself stepping
back few centuries in time. Here you can afford a rare glimpse of
old Bombay, the mutiny of 1857, the seige of Lucknow in the 1857
Indian uprising, Anglo Indian life by Captain Atkinson - titled
Curry and Rice, Ravi Verma prints, life of the native Indian army
and work of famous artists like James Bailley Fraser, Henry Salt,
Balthazar Solvyns, Thomas and William Daniell, all alive in the
form of antiques on paper. Old maps and antiquarian books, which
have survived many hundreds of years, are also part of the exbhibition
being organised by Dilnavaz Mehta in association with Godrej
the beginning of the 20th century, with the arrival of photography,
traditional printing methods of engraving, etching, aquatints and
lithography came to be neglected. It is only now that people want
to move back in time and have started appreciating pictorial images
produced on paper," says Mehta, whose personal interest
in old books and ancient history led her to relinquish her microbiological
pursuits to set up Rare Finds as a source for original prints,
maps and antiquarian books. Resale or investment value, adding to
collections, aestheic value or plain pure pleasure are few tempting
reasons to indulge in rare prints.
was always interested in books and this led to my rare collection.
Soon, requests from friends and acquaintances to find particular
books, led to my making it into a profession. I started in 1996
just by word of mouth. I have had four exhibitions up to now at
Max Mueller Bhavan, David Sassoon Library, The Galleria and now
at Cymroza," says the entrepreneur. Most of the paper treasures
have been picked up during her travel expeditions through the country
and others from collectors or people wanting to dispose them or
in need of money.
do not want to reach out to just collectors and serious buyers,
but educate people and disseminate information on the historic,
cultural and artistic interests of people from the 1550s to 1940s.
Most interesting is the fact that all the drawings were made on-the-spot
and not from memory," says Mehta on the reason for the
showing at Cymroza Art Gallery. Every picture or print has an interesting
story to tell. There were four artists involved in the production
of one print. The artists drew the picture on location, professional
engravers did the engraving, another artist coloured it and then
a printer made prints of the engravings.
What can you find at 'Rare Finds' ? - Original prints and maps
produced by techniques like engraving, etching, aquatinting and
lithography, which have been obsolete for nearly a hundred years.
Due to the tedious printing techniques involved only a limited number
of copies of each visual on paper could be made, out of which only
a few have survived, which add to their exclusivity. The prints
were published for various reasons: to commemorate or publicise
a particular event or to create a political or satirical theme.
With the increase in exploration and foreign travel from the 17th
Century onwards, the need for maps charting various routes, depicting
particular areas and trading centres also increased. The print maker,
again used the same principle of transferring visuals onto paper.
The collection of maps at 'Rare Finds' dates from 1660-1900 and
covers British territories, independent kingdoms of the Indian empire,
Bombay and the Asian continent, in addition to geographical, historical
and travel maps.
A wide selection of books published between 1775 to 1940 on literature,
history, travel, art, architecture, archeology, biographies, natural
history, old Bombay, British India and British history in India
form a part of the rare collection.
Today 'Rare Finds' endeavours to provide good quality genuine pieces
at affordable prices, be it books, prints or maps. They offer services
like evaluation, restoration, book search and setting up corporate
and individual libraries.
Address: Rare Finds, Dilnavaz Mehta, 67 Jame Jamshed Building,
811 Parsi Colony, Dadar, Mumbai - 400 014
Phone: 412 1347