Delhi Durbar 1903. The Official Directory with Camp details


THE CORONATION DURBAR, DELHI , 1903. OFFICIAL DIRECTORY (with Maps). Printed at the Foreign Office Press, Camp, Delhi. Small 8vo [7 x 5 ins].

The fact that this directory was printed at the Camp in Delhi suggests it was printed as late as December 1902: the first official event was the State Entry of the Viceroy, Duke of Connaught & Princes of India on Monday 29th December 1902. iii (contents), iv (introductory note), 208pp. Original red cloth gilt, front board with title beneath an imperial crown, binding perfectly sound but a little dull and with a few marks, the text block is held in the binding loosely by a thin tape [in this case broken at the top] and has the original shiny red paper covers with half title printed in typed lettering on the front, text block is quite clean with no previous ownership markings in black. The front pocket of the binding retains the original “Skeleton Map of Delhi City and Part of Civil Lines, showing the route to be followed by the State Procession on December 29th 1902” on a scale of approx 300 yards to the inch. The other three maps which are lacking from the pocket are provided in photocopied form from our reference copy and comprise: “Plan of Camps of a scale of 2 inches to 1 mile”, “Central Camp on a scale of 6 inches to 1 mile” , & Plan showing the Disposition of Troops and Arrangements for the Coronation Durbar, January 1st 1903, on a scale of 6 inches to 1 mile”. This is now a very scarce and invaluable directory which to our knowledge has not, unlike the 1911 directory, been reproduced in facsimile form. The 8 chapters comprise: Lists of Occupants of the Principal Camps [pp 1-37]; Nominal Lists of Native Chiefs, Noblemen, and Gentlemen encamped in the provincial Camps [pp38-79]; Military Staffs and Regimental Camps [pp80-140]; Colonial Representatives and Foreign Delegations [pp 141-143]; Details relating to the more important functions [pp 143-169]; State Entry, Durbar Proceedings, etc; Other Functions and Amusements [pp 170-179]; Review of Native Cheifs’ Retinues, fireworks, native wrestling. etc, miscellaneous information [pp 180-203]; Art Exhinition, Durbar Light Railway, Central Market, Postal Facilities, railway routes, sight-seeing, etc. In order to be as accurate as possible this Directory was produced late in the day, which probably explains the detached nature of the text from the binding and the fact that there was no index. The lack of an index was noted at the Durbar and a separate one was produced as a small booklet that was given free to those who requested it. we have only ever had one copy of the index.

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