London: Ivor Nicholson & Watson Limited, 1936. Item #05063
A Cosway-Style Binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe with Two Fine Portrait Miniatures
COSWAY-STYLE BINDING. SANGORSKI & SUTCLIFFE, binders. DUNBAR, Sir George. A History of India from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. London: Ivor Nicholson & Watson Limited, 1936.
First edition. Octavo (7 15/16 x 5 3/8 inches; 202 x 137 mm.). [xxiv], 1- pp. Erratum slip inserted facing p. [viii]. Thirty-four photogravure plates containing sixty-four illustrations. Sixteen colored maps including one large folding at end.
Bound ca. 1936 by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, stamp signed in gilt on front turn-in. Full red crushed levant morocco over beveled boards, covers richly decorated on gilt, spine with five raised bands decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, decorative gilt board edges, elaborate gilt turn-ins, gilt decorated blue morocco doublures, ochre watered silk endleaves, all edges gilt. With the gilt initials of Ohio collector B. C. Hoffman at foot of the spine. Inside front cover with large oval sunken panel with a fine gold-framed oval miniature under glass of a Maharaja (2 x 1 1/2 inches), and on the inside rear cover a fine gold-framed oval miniature under glass of a Raja (2 x 1 1/2 inches). Expert and almost invisible repair to foot of spine. Minimal rubbing to joints, otherwise near fine. An excellent example of a 'double' Sangorski & Sutcliffe Cosway-Style binding.
"A history of India is equivalent in range to the history of Europe," Dunbar acknowledges in his preface, admitting "it is clearly impossible to compress the history of India into a single volume and deal adequately with every period." That said, he makes a progressive move, attempting to "compile a History of India from the standpoint of the governed rather than the many rulers of the country." A colonial officer and historian, Dunbar had firsthand experience in India, and a deep interest in the nation's evolving culture. Across over 600 pages, his tome traces the earliest periods on the country's political and religious development, documenting how people experienced cultural shifts due to frequently jarring and violent changes in leadership across centuries; and he includes, at the end, an account of British imperialism.
A rich and detailed history, finely bound and richly illustrated.
Sir George Duff-Sutherland-Dunbar (1878-1962) was a British colonial officer and historian, notable for his History of India, published in 1936. He also wrote adventure novels for children, one of which was serialized for the radio by the BBC in 1933. He was a member of the Dunbar of Hempriggs baronetage. Dunbar was commissioned into the British army as a second lieutenant in the Cameron Highlanders on 3 August 1898, and was promoted to lieutenant on 1 April 1899. He served in the Indian Staff Corps from April 1899, and formally transferred to the Indian Army in June 1902.