Kumars' collection had original Daniell, Hogarth ...

Kumar’s collection boasted books by the painter Hogarth, Travel writers such as Colonel Sleeman and George V Higgins; Anglo Indian writers from the forgotten James Hamilton to the unknown Bishop Heber. The Scottish writer named O’Malley was also a favourite, as was the great African Missionary Traveler David Livingston and Sir Richard Burton. If these rare works were easily available in Calcutta to the literary landscape, it is in no small part due to Kumar’s efforts. When he obtained the complete set of the famous journal Reis & Rayot from the Maharaja Tagore library, he persuaded none other than Satyajit Ray to add it to his personal collection.

A rare set of Daniells landed with Kumar and he virtually begged R.P.Gupta to take it, without much success. Gupta later in his writing confesses and laments the decision. If Mr. A. Lahari, then Superintendent of the Calcutta Zoo, has been able to leave behind the rare collection of Himalayan Birds and other books on Ornithology and Wild-life to the collection of The Zoological Gardens, it is because of Kumar.


Images : Painting of Thomas & William Daniell . The Book Oriental Scenary. An aquatint from the book