D'OYLY, Sir Charles (1781-1845)
[Fourteen lithographed views of India, including works by Charles D'Oyly]
[Patna], [Calcutta]: Behar Lithographic Press and Asiatic Lithographic Press, Calcutta], [1828-1831]. Oblong folio. (12 x 17 1/2 inches). Album of 14 lithographs, mounted on blue paper.
Full red morocco with inset silk panel.
1) On the Dallai Nulla, Dacca. Lithographed by D'Oyly. 3 7/8 x 4 3/4 inches. 2) Dacca. Lithographed by D'Oyly. 5 1/4 x 6 inches. Behar Lithographic Press. 3) View in the Vicinity of Barrackpore. Lithographed by D'Oyly after George Chinnery. 6 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches. Behar Lithographic Press. 4) View near Barrackpore. Lithographed by D'Oyly after H. Woodcock. 5 5/8 x 6 7/8 inches. Behar Lithographic Press. 5) Ruins of Indian Temple, Untitled. Behar Lithographic Press. 6) Jain Temple Adjunta [F. Gresley] 7) Idyllic Countryside View, Untitled. 8) Bird of Prey and Pheasant (C.W. Smith & C. D'Oyly). Behar Lithographic Press 1829. 9) Oriental Ornithology by C.W. Smith & C. D'Oyly. Behar Lithographic Press 1829. 10) Three Quail. C. D'oyly & C.W. Smith. Behar Lithographic Press 1829. 11) On the Burrampooter, opposite Gowalparah, Assam.T. Black after J. McCash. Asiatic Lithographic Press. 12) Attack of the Pirates by the Boats of H.M. Ship Andromache. By A. Heseltine, Esq. Drawn on stone by C. D'Oyly. 13) Attack of the Pirates by the Boats of H.M. Ship Andromache. By A. Heseltine, Esq. Drawn on stone by C. D'Oyly. 14) Attack of the Pirates by the Boats of H.M. Ship Andromache. By A. Heseltine, Esq. Drawn on stone by C. D'Oyly. Born in India, Sir Charles D'Oyly was educated in England, before returning to India in the service of the East India Company in 1798. By 1808 he was Collector of Dacca, and in 1818 succeeded to baronet. After serving in a series of posts throughout India, culminating in his appointment as Senior Member of the Board of Customs, Salt and Opium, and of the Marine Board in 1833, he returned to England in 1838, and retired in 1839. He is now best known for his work as an amateur artist, lithographer and publisher in India. D'Oyly became a noted student of George Chinnery, who worked in India between 1802 and 1825. "Chinnery's love of drawing rural India and its people and animals comes through strongly in D'Oyly's work ... [D'Oyly's] work at its best is fresh and charming, and his topographical work has an engaging vividness" (Losty). Lithography came to India in the 1820s and D'Oyly was an early adopter. "In 1824 D'Oyly was the moving spirit in setting up a society of dilettanti called the Behar School of Athens ... for the promotion of the Arts & Sciences, and 'for the circulation of fun and merriment of all descriptions'" (Losty). D'Oyly had ordered a lithographic press from England in 1823, though transporting it to Patna proved difficult, with the first such attempt resulting in the destruction of the press in a squall on the Ganges. A second press was ordered, and was established at Patna named The Behar Amateur Lithographic Press in 1828 (though there is evidence that D'Oyly had access to lithographic stones at an earlier date). Among the earliest "published" works from the Patna Press were D'Oyly's Behar Amateur Lithographic Sketch Books. At least five such "books" were published (see Abbey, Travel 446,448, 449, and 452, as well as an additional example referenced by Abbey located in the India Office Library). These Scrap Books contained a varying number of lithographs drawn on stone by D'Oyly after his own drawings, as well as other members of the Behar School of Athens. This included Chinnery, his wife Elizabeth Jane D'Oyly, Christopher Webb Smith, James Young, T. Paterson, James Prinseps, Mary Fendall, Sarah Amherst and at least two native Indian artists named Shiv Dayal and Jai Ram Das, among others. "Although [D'Oyly's published works] appear to be regular books in the sense that various copies of them were printed, it is obvious that none of the products of the Behar Lithographic Press was ever published in any commercial sense" (Losty). Abbey concurs, writing: "there seems to be no evidence as to whether D'Oyly sold copies of the Behar Amateur Press Books, or distributed them privately."
Cf. Abbey, Travel 446,448, 449, and 452; Archer, India Observed, pp. 70-72; Godrej and Rohatgi, Scenic Splendours, pp. 58-60; Jeremiah P. Losty, "Sir Charles D'Oyly's Lithographic Press and his Indian Assistants" in Rohatgi and Godrej, India: A Pageant of Prints, pp. 135-160.