A small early Victorian watercolour of the Calcutta Ball, 1844


Trench, Philip Charles: Calcutta Season Ball. Watercolour of an Officer and a Lady Dancing, Dated Calcutta Dec 30th 1844. An amusing amateur watercolour drawing on paper of a couple dancing, dated Dec 30th 1844, 5 x 6.5ins. A young lady dances in a lively fashion with a military officer in dress uniform. Signed and dated P C Trench. single faint vertical fold line. Philip Charles Trench was appointed to the Bengal Civil Service in 1827. He was Magistrate at Mozoffernugger in 1836, Collector at Mirzapore in 1839, Ghazeepore in 1848, Civil Sessions Judge at Seharanpore 1854 and retired in 1859 after the Indian Mutiny. An atmospheric little picture epitomising the gaiety of the Calcutta Season in the very early Victorian period. The young lady may well have been a member of the “Fishing Fleet” which appeared each season to search for a good match among the Bengal Civil Service and the Officers of the armies of the East India Company and the Queen.

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