Sketches of Ceylonese Life

Scope and Content

The volume is a bound book of 47 sketches by Van Dort divided into three parts: pictures of native dignitaries, tradesmen and villagers. Someone with initials CJ has added a text to most of the pictures, which, he states, were 'taken from various sources, but principally from Sir Emerson Tennants work on Ceylon, and from personal recollection.'

Administrative / Biographical History

J.L.K. van Dort, whose Ceylonese landscapes are represented in the Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, was, according to the text of the manuscript (in another hand), 'a clever, self-taught artist who at that time was a Draughtsman in the Surveyor-General's office, Colombo, Ceylon. He was a native of the Island, but descended from a Dutch family who settled in Ceylon before the English took possession...'

Access Information

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

The manuscript was donated by RW Townsend Esq in 1969.

Alternative Form Available

No copies of this work are known

Conditions Governing Use

Usual University of Exeter arangements apply

Custodial History

The book seems to have been originally merely a series of illustrations by Van Dort, another (later) hand completing the text in about 1889.

Related Material

Ceylon: the near past (1951)



Geographical Names