Mengoon pagoda from N.W (Mingun)  

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Physical description

This image shows the large square pagoda with huge cracks in the brick work running from the top of the building to the bottom.
Place of Origin - Burma
Date - August 1855 - November 1855 (photographed)
Artist/maker - Tripe, Linnaeus
Materials and Techniques - salted paper print froma waxed paper (calotype) negative

Object history note
This photograph was one of a series from 'Burma Views' which was presented to the V&A in July 1909 by Lady Ida Low, wife of Malcolm Low, Esq., of the Bengal Civil Service and daughter-in-law of General Sri John Low. As a member of the Council of India in 1857, Sir John Low received the Burma Views (1857) set on 15th April 1857.

This photograph was published in the album Burma Views 1857, by Captain L. Tripe, official photographer to the Government of India's Mission to Ava [Burma]. Tripe made over 200 photographs during this trip, and the captions to the images are thought to be a collaboration between Tripe and the secretary to the Mission to Ava, Henry Yule.

Tripe’s Burma Views were distributed widely and were very well received. Tripe sent 50 copies to Calcutta. Fourteen sets from these were distributed by the Government of India, including seven sets to members of the Mission to Ava, former capital of Burma. Twenty sets were ordered by the East India Company’s Court of Directors, and most were given to members of the Court. It is not known what happened to the remaining sixteen sets. Due to Tripe’s ownership of the negatives, he printed a selection of his photographs for further distribution. A set of 92 views of Burma was given to the King of Prussia, and more sets were given to the Madras Photographic Society and associated figures. Two hundred and ninety additional prints were offered for sale at 2 Rupees per print at Griffiths and Co., Madras.

Historical context note
In April 1855 Lord Dalhousie, governor general of India, advised on a political trip to Amerapoora, Burma following the annexation of Pengu (part of Burma) by the British after the 1852 Anglo-Burmese war. Tripe was sent to accompany the party in 1855 as official photographer. The photographs he made during his stay resulted in his album of 122 images, Burma Views, published in 1857. These photographs result from this project, and have Tripe’s original numbering and titles on their mounts.

Descriptive line
Photograph, 19th century, No. 97 from series 'Burma Views' by Linnaeus Tripe, 'Mengoon. Pagoda from N. W.', albumen print, Burma, 1855

Labels and date - Mengoon Pagoda
Mengoon (Mingun), 1790–1819
By Linnaeus Tripe (1822–1902)
Albumen print, 1855
Museum no. 1578-1909

This large brick pagoda was begun during the reign of King Bodawpaya but remained incomplete after his death in 1819. The brick base of the lower terrace is 36 metres high, one-third the size of the intended structure. In 1838 an earthquake reduced sections to rubble. [59 words]

Attribution Note

Edition number unknown. This print was probably made to go into the album 'Burma Views', of which 50 full sets were produced. Additional prints were produced by Tripe for different sets of Burma images.