This well-preserved 19th-century panorama of Bengal troops on the march unfurls to more than 20 feet long. Made up of 18 hand-coloured sections, it was printed and published by one of the most famous names in 19th-century lithographic printing, Day & Haghe. In its original cylindrical case, it sold for £4,230 ($6,005) to London dealers Marlborough Rare Books on January 28.
The panorama was described at the time as “A Sketch by an Officer in that Army.” The officer has since been identified as Captain William Ludlow of the 12th Bengal Native Infantry, and I assume he provided the introductory and descriptive text, and brief explanatory notes, accompanying each of the vignettes (e.g., “Spiking a Captured Gun” or “A Sporting Elephant”).
I haven’t seen the panorama in its entirety, but the catalogue entry says it “manages to convey the logistical and military problems faced by the British army in India in both an amusing and evocative style.” The elephants’ marching song, from the Disney version of Kipling’s Jungle Book would probably make a good soundtrack for viewing.