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First photographs taken at altitude over 12,000 feet

Godwin-Austen, Henry Haversham, Captain Description of a Mystic Play, as performed in Ladak, Zaskar, &c. Calcutta Asiatic Society of Bengal 1865
First edition, published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume XXXIV, Part I, No.II; pp.(71)-79, ten mounted photographs, each approximately 7 x 6.5 cm. Whole issue present. A very good copy in later card wrappers, original front wrapper bound in. Photographs a little faded.
Moorehead, Catherine, The K2 Man (and his molluscs). The extraordinary life of Haversham Godwin-Austen, 2013.

Haversham Godwin-Austen (1834-1923) joined the Kashmir Survey in 1857 and made several expeditions into Ladakh until 1863 when he was seconded to Bhutan. He probably observed this performance on his second season in 1858, though he passed again through Hemis on a climbing expedition in 1862. "G-A was a great explorer and probably the greatest mountaineer of his day... he was also an artist of considerable talent" - Mason, Abode of Snow. These photographs were taken at the monastery of Hemis (3800 metres) by Captain Alexander Brodie Melville, a keen amateur photographer, who also served with the Survey of Kashmir. They are amongst the earliest to be taken in Ladakh and are likely the first photographs taken at such an altitude in the Himalayas. They pictures show a mystery play and capture the people of Hemis and their costumes for the first time. At the 30 December 1861 meeting of the Bengal Photographic Society, 'Major Walker of the Bengal Engineers sent some interesting views of Kashmere and Ladak for exhibition; these were taken by Lieutenant Melville of the Trigonometrical Survey, and were very creditable to an amateur photographer, who never touched a chemical before that year, and whose collodion had been subjected to such rough travelling in high mountain ranges.' - Journal of the Bengal Photographic Society, vol. 1, no. 1, 1 May 1862.