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HomeContents > People > Photographers > David Harold Day Sykes

Dates:  1829 (ca) - 1873, 16 June

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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

Commercial, India
Studios in Bombay from 1859 and in partnership with Henry W. Dwyer as Sykes and Dwyer from 1868-72. In 1872 the monthly Photographic album of Bombay views appeared. Other photographs by Sykes and Dwyer appear in J. Burgess' Temples of Satrunjaya (1869), Somnath, Girnar and Junaghad (1869) and Rock Temples of Elephanta or Gharapuri (1871). Sykes was employed by James Burgess for archaeological photography on several occasions (see below) and a large number of his photographs were acquired by the Archaeological Survey. Died of dysentery, aged 44, on 16 June 1873 and buried the following day at St Andrew’s Church, Bombay.[1]
Sykes and Co., Medow Street, Bombay, 1860 (Bombay Calendar and Almanac).
D. Sykes, photographer, Bellasis Road, Bombay, 1862-64 (Bombay Calendar and Almanac).
Not listed as photographer, 1865-6 (The Times of India Calendar and Directory).
J. [?for David] Sykes, photographer, Bellasis Road, Bombay, 1867 (The Times of India Calendar and Directory).
Sykes and Dwyer, photographers, Hummum Street, Bombay, 1868-(72) (The Times of India Calendar and Directory).
Sykes and Co., Photographic Depot, Bellasis Road, Bombay, 1863 (The Times of India Calendar and Directory).
Sykes and Co., Photographic Depot, Hummum Street, Bombay.
Letter from Sykes and Dwyer of 18 January 1869 offers to sell to the Bombay Government their negatives of the temples at Palitana; further letter of 29 Jan 1869 enclosed list of negatives, with prices; further letter of 4 Feb 1869 stating that price for a complete set of prints is Rs. 150, ‘and that they can name no price for each print, as they have already arranged to publish them in sets’. Bombay Government resolved that ‘Government may invest in five copies of the complete set, three of which can be sent to the Secretary of State, with an intimation that the negatives can be purchased if required.’[2]
Bombay Government Resolution No. 1143 of 13 May 1869. Letter from Sykes dated 5 May 1869 indicates that the Government had subscribed to five copies of the Palitana album.[3]
No. 865 of 8 May. Letter from Messrs. Sykes and Dwyer, photographers - ‘Stating that they are about to proceed to Ellora and Adjunta for the purpose of taking photographs of the whole of the caves, and requesting to know if Government are disposed to give them an order for any number of copies.’
‘RESOLUTION. - Messrs. Sykes and Dwyer to be informed that Government have under consideration other arrangements for taking photographs of the caves, and are, therefore, not prepared to order any copies of their photographs.’[4]
Bombay Government’s Resolution no.746 of 23 March 1869, ordered the following letter to be sent to James Burgess:
‘...I am directed to inform you that Government are pleased to sanction your proposed visit to Nassick with Mr Sykes, for the purpose of taking photographs and plans of the caves and temples. 2. Government will allow Mr Sykes and yourself railway fares to and fro, and deputation allowance each at the rate of Rs. 5 per diem for a period not exceeding ten days, and will take ten copies of each photograph that you may approve for Government at the rate of Rs. 2 per copy. 3. It will be left for consideration hereafter of the Secretary of State whether the negatives shall be purchased; and Mr Sykes should be requested to state his price for them. 4. I am to add that Government will be glad to receive such plans and measurements as you may be able to place at their disposal.’[5]
Bombay Government Resolution No. 1114 of 10 May 1869. Letter from Burgess dated 21 April 1869 reports (not quoted) on their expedition and forwards copies of Sykes’s photographs; states that Sykes is willing to accept an average price of Rs. 26 for each of the negatives. Resolved that six copies of each of the 20 photographs should be ordered.[6]
19 June 1869: two sets of the Nasik photographs to be sent to the Government of India.[7] 

  1. Λ Bombay Burials, IOR/N/3/47 f. 229. 
  2. Λ Bombay Public Proceeding, 1869, IOR/P/441/52/p. 67. 
  3. Λ Bombay Public Proceedings 1869, IOR/P/441/52/p. 168. 
  4. Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, May 1868, IOR/P/441/51 No. 466 
  5. Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, IOR/P/441/52/p.119. 
  6. Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, IOR/P/441/52/p.164. 
  7. Λ Bombay Public Proceedings 1869, IOR/P/441/52/p.216. 

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