[Snake Hooka]Houka ą Tuyau
[published Paris, 1811]
Etching with hand-colouring, platemark approx 245 x355mm (9½ x 13¾"). Uncut sheet.
The Snake Hookah: 'This is the Hooka of the richer classes, and that which the Europeans have adopted...this instrument which frequently costs seveal hundred pounds, becomes an object of great expence' (from letterpress published with print). From the third volume of Balthazar Solvyns' 'Les Hindoūs'. Solvyns (1760-1824), a Flemish artist who lived in Calcutta from 1791 to 1803, etched a collection of 250 plates documenting various aspects of Calcutta life. The set was first published in Calcutta, where it proved a financial failure, and Solvyns produced another set which he published in Paris after returning to Europe, although again the venture was unsuccessful, probably in part due to its publication at the height of the Napoleonic Wars. Solvyns later returned to Antwerp, where William I appointed him Captain of the Port.
[Ref: 33656] £240.00