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Hamilton Studios is salvaging and digitising pre-Independence images

Hamilton Studios photographed the wealthy in early 20th-century Bombay

Hamilton Studios in Mumbai’s Ballard Estate
Gurjeet Singh, a staffer, scanning a photograph

Ajita Madhavji utters the word “Hamilton” with an emphasis that suggests it means more. In her estimation the name of the photography studio, built by Sir Victor Sassoon in 1928 and taken over by her father Ranjit Madhavji in 1957, stands for an artistic sophistication that ostensibly separated it from other studios of its time. “Out of thousands of photos I can pick out ‘a Hamilton’ in an instant,” she says with no small measure of pride. “The pictures are technically right with very dramatic lighting.” The studio premises in Ballard ...