FRASER, James Baillie (1783-1856)
View of the Country from Urshalun Teeba
London: Rodwell & Martin, 1 March 1820. Hand-coloured aquatint by Robert Havell & Son, after Fraser. Image size (including text): 18 1/8 x 23 1/4inches. Sheet size: 21 x 30 inches.
A fine example of a view taken during the first recorded journey by Europeans through the Himalayas. On 18 June 1815 Fraser and his brother William reached Urshalun, near to where the Nepalese General Kirti Rana had surrendered. Three days later James celebrated his 32nd birthday by climbing the peak, Tiba, behind the village.
In 1815, following the end of the war with Nepal, Fraser and his brother William, a political agent, spent two months on a tour of the Himalayas. Their journey took the brothers along the river valleys of the Himalayas, with occasional sorties to higher latitudes and as far as the sources of both the Jumna and Ganges rivers.
This view is from the spectacular Views in the Himala Mountains which contains twenty of Havell's masterly plates worked up from sketches made on the spot by Fraser. In style the plates are similar to, and very much a match for Henry Salt's and the Daniell brothers' large scale views published 10 and 20 years earlier. This was a deliberate strategy by the publishers who drew attention to the similarities in their advertisements which describe the work as being `In Elephant Folio, uniform with Daniell's Oriental Scenery , and Salt's Views in Abyssinia ..'
Cf. Abbey Travel II, 498.