This volume of Indian watercolours has been inscribed on frontispiece: 'Evan Meredith Thomas on his first birthday from his father, Mhow, March 31st 1885'.
The images in this volume fall into the category described as 'Company Paintings', a style which developed in India during the 18th and 19th centuries to appeal to European patrons as souvenirs. The subject matter was often documentary rather than imaginative, tending to depict trademen, famous buildings or people, and scenes from Indian life.
The name of the Indian artist is not known.
The one volume under this reference contains 60 pages of Indian miniature watercolours. These are pen and ink drawings which have been painted over in bright watercolours.
Within the volume there are 3 discrete sections:
Pages 1-10: Significant figures in the history of the Punjab and NW Frontier in 19th century.
Pages 11-20: Landmark buildings in the Punjab and Delhi.
Pages 21-60: Images showing trades and crafts of India.
This catalogue was produced with support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.
Evan Aubrey Thomas was with 7th Dragoon Guards, a cavalry regiment of the British Army. In 1882, he married Constance Ida Rocke of Clungunford, Shropshire, and she gave birth to Evan Meredith Thomas in March 1884 in Shropshire. Unfortunately she died several days later. On Evan Meredith's first birthday, his father was based in Mhow, India, where he commissioned this volume for his son.
In 1888, Evan Aubrey Thomas married again, to Blanche Emily Williams, and the family appear in the 1891 and 1901 census returns in England, with Evan Aubrey listed as retired Army Officer.
His son Evan Meredith Thomas later changed his surname to Rocke presumably for inheritance purposes, and he is recorded in the 1911 census as a gentleman of private means. He marries Charlotte M Williams on 28 December 1911, and their first child Ida Mary was born in 1912. Now resident in Clungunford House, he enlists in the Dragoons in 1916 in Ludlow, but is discharged with knee problems/myalgia in 1917. By this time he has 3 children, Ida Mary, John and Constance Rocke. His army discharge papers record that he is 6 foot 4 inches tall, and is a farmer. He died aged 69 in March 1954, still resident in Clungunford House.