John Falconer, British Library
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia
Partnership of John Edward Saché and W. F. Westfield, 15-1 Waterloo Street, Calcutta, lasted from 1865-70. Saché was later based at Naini Tal. The firm was awarded a silver medal at Bengal Photographic Society Exhibition, 1865-6 and bronze medal, 1868-9; in 1869 they advertised their ‘new studio, pucca-built, one of the coolest and best in Calcutta,’ at 3 Waterloo Street, stating that they have taken over the negative stock of F. W. Baker and Co. Partnership dissolved by 1870.
Saché and Westfield, 15-1 Waterloo Place, Calcutta, 1868, 1869 (Thacker’s).
See: Westfield and Co.
View showing an inner court or piazza of the old fort, looking towards thick brick arches. Prints 93 and 95 are clearly the two photographs referred to by Norman Chevers in an article on the Black Hole site in the 'Journal of the Bengal Photographic Society,' new series, no. 3, September 1869, pp. 3-5. In the editor's preamble to the piece, it is noted that, 'The photographs of which Dr. Norman Chevers speaks were taken by Mr. Baker, but the negatives have since become the property of Messrs. Saché and Westfield, from whom, we believe, copies of the pictures may readily be obtained.' This was around the time that Baker's Calcutta studio was taken over by Saché and Westfield, as evidenced by an advertisement referring to this fact in the same number of the journal. Chevers' article makes clear that these photographs do not show the precise location of the Black Hole, which was at the junction of Koilah Ghat Street and the west side of Tank Square, an area which had at this time had only recently become the site of the new Post Office. The photographs taken were of the remaining surviving section of the old fort walls at the western (Strand Road) end of Koilah Ghat Street, but 'which, I believe, architecturally, as perfectly corresponds with the Black Hole, as the east end of a modern Calcutta verandah usually does with the west.' Chevers also refers to the photographs in the body of his article: 'Unfortunately, the piazza has of late been appropriated to base, but not unnecessary uses. To those who will, consequently, be prevented from visiting the spot, two admirable photographs just made by Mr. Baker of Wellesley Place will afford a most vivid and picturesque idea of the stifling nature in which one hundred and twenty-three souls gasped out their release on the night of the twentieth of June, Seventeen hundred and fifty-six.' The nature of the 'base, but not unnecessary uses' to which the area had recently been put, is not specified (but presumably latrines).