The first printed depiction of the majestic Taj Mahal has been sold for 31,250 pounds at Bonham's "India and Beyond: Travel and Photography" sale in London.
The book sold on Tuesday, estimated at 30,000-35,000 pounds, included a volume of aquatint views of India by William Hodges who travelled through the country in the 1780s executing drawings on the spot.
In the depiction, the Taj appears in the background of the Agra Fort, suggesting that Hodges was more interested in the military installation than the building which emerged as a symbol to symbolise eternal love.
Earlier in a similar sale, a complete copy of Emily Eden's "Portraits of the Princes and People of India" was sold for 46,850 pounds against an estimate of 20,000-30,000 pounds.
It was based on original drawings by Eden who lived in India from 1835–1842 when her brother, Lord Auckland, was the Governor General.
Published in 1844, this exceptionally rare folio of 24 hand-coloured card mounted lithographs covered the panoply of life in the court of the Sikh rulers of Punjab, from Maharajahs and Nawabs to Fakirs, servants and attendants.