20 April 2018
Sketchfab 3-D modelling of trooper Ami Chand of Skinner's Horse
Last month as part of a pilot on using three-dimensional modelling at the British Library's Digitisation Studio, a few objects from the Visual Arts section were photographed and rendered using a Cyreal 3D camera rig and made available through Sketchfab. One of the objects selected is the terracotta model of 'Ummeechund', a trooper of Skinner's Horse which painted using polychrome pigments and modelled with wires and an armature. It measures 28.5 cm high. The trooper is featured wearing the distinctive long yellow coat with red trimmings, a black jacket with red frogging, a tiger-skin bandolier, a tall shark marked with a crescent and with red trimmings and tassels, and white pantaloons. His left hand rests on the hilt of his upright sword. As the trooper was last displayed in the Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire exhibition at the British Library from 2012-13 and now currently in storage, it was the ideal candidate for digital modelling as it is fragile.
Ami Chand was not the only servant working for the Fraser brothers that was portrayed. In the David Collection in Copenhagen, there are two drawings featuring Kala, one showing him dressed in simply trousers and turban with no top based on his attire while out hunting and a second in full regimental attire of the irregular cavalry of Skinner's Horse.
Mildred Archer and Toby Falk, India Revealed: the Art and Adventures of James and William Fraser 1801-35, London, 1989.
J. P. Losty, 'New evidence for the style of the 'Fraser artist' in Delhi: Portraits of Afghans in 1808-10', AAS Blog, 01/11/2015.
J.P. Losty, 'James Skinner's Tazkirat al-Umara now digitised', AAS Blog, 07/07/2014.
J.P. Losty and Malini Roy, Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire – Manuscripts and Paintings in the British Library, London, 2012, ch. 4.
Malini Roy, Head of Visual Arts