Statues: Esplanade House (1887)
Waudby Road, Fort.
When Busy strayed on Sunday evening from the Breach and Sailor with the white star on his breast went missing at Khetwady, their owners turned to the Bombay press.
‘Dog Lost’, ‘Stolen or Gone Astray’, notices were published on the front page. A handsome reward was promised on the dog’s return.
Yet often in the notices no address was given to which the dog could be returned. Only the owner’s name was mentioned. Why so?
The world encompassed by the daily press of the 1860s was so small, the citizens that featured so familiar, that the front page of the paper read like a Facebook feed. Newspaper offices themselves often served as the first port of call so that Busy was as likely to be escorted back to the Bombay Gazette office as she was to her owner Mr W. Trevor Roper’s arms.
This post is in memory of Oscar Parmar who strayed at midnight on 31st May from Babulnath Road.
Flooring: Esplanade House (1887)
Waudby Road, Esplanade.
At Esplanade House, the residence of industrialist J. N. Tata, you will find three kinds of flooring on the premises- mosaic work at the entrance and on most of the floors, marble for the stairs and Minton tiles on some of the floor landings.
The residence is unusual for amount of mosaic flooring. Usually in the homes of the elite as well as in the grand civic buildings in Bombay, Minton tiling and marble predominated, while mosaic was not used or reserved for uncovered spaces like terraces.
Tata’s fondness for mosaic work could be explained as part of his wider taste in chinoiserie. His home was decorated with all kinds of Chinese artefacts and he was also fond of using Chinese silks as part of dress- on his turban and as a shawl. Mosaic tiles often comprised of bits of broken porcelain from Chinese wares like vases and plates.
Photos courtesy Jasmine Driver for Parsiana .