Celebration At Sasoon’s Mansion Bombay, 1859 Print

Celebration At Sasoon's Mansion Bombay, 1859 Print

An old 1859 print of celebration at Sasoon’s Mansion in British Era Bombay (Mumbai). This is a page from The Illustrated London News of April 23, 1859. It shows the Sans Souci Mansion or Sasoon’s masion. The occasion was the celebration of the transfer of  East India Company’s control of the Indian government to the British Crown.

The caption reads- “Entertainment Given to Lord Elphinstone At Sans Souci, Near Bombay-Gateway of the Mansion Decorated For The Occasion.” Relating to this event, The Illustrated London News reported: “Monday the 28th of February, 1859, will long be remembered by the elite of Bombay for the great entertainment given by Mr. David Sassoon. A well-known wealthy Jew merchant of Bombay and China. In honour of the assumption of the Government of India by her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria.”

David Sassoon was born in Baghdad in 1872. He was an Iraqi Jew. This community was coming under pressure from the Turks, David with his family escaped to Persia (Iran) and from there to Bombay in 1834. He set up a modest business in Mumbai which grew exponentially in a matter of years. But it must have been his personality and his business acumen that led him so rapidly to success. Once he had decided to take up a certain line pursued it more enterprisingly than the Parsis. Who were essentially middlemen.

He was an empire builder, he bought up warehouse space to ensure the smooth transit of his goods. And would finance other merchants with loans in return for their goods at preferential prices. Or buy up ailing businesses and revitalize them. By the end of the fifties, only 25 years after he arrived in Bombay. It is said that: silver and gold, silks, and spices, opium and cotton, wool and wheat, docks, etc. Whatever moves over sea or land bears the mark of Sassoon and Co. Sans Souci was one of David Sassoon’s palatial residential mansions at Byculla. The mansion was sold to the trustees of the Masina Hospital in 1913. Since then it has been running as the Masina Hospital in Byculla.

Read more David Sassoon (treasurer).

Did you know – Lord John Elphinstone was the governor of Bombay Presidency from 1853 to 1860.

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#15)., Ripon Building & Victoria Hall Madras, Old Photo 1930., British Era Madras Harbour, Postcard 1915., Buick Cars In Madras – Old Photo 1929.

Celebration At Sasoon's Mansion Bombay, 1859 Print