Thomas Rust as a photographer is
in 1869 when he worked as an assistant to F.W. Baker in Calcutta. A year later
he was running the Calcutta Photographic Company with W. T. Burgess and did so
until 1874. . In 1874 Rust opened five of his own studios in Allahabad,
Mussoorie, Murree, Landour and Meerut. Thomas Rust's landscapes are considered
very artistic. His son Julian joined the firm in 1899 and continued until
1930." Later the father son due only maintained two studio’s. One in Mussoorie
and other in Allahabad. Julian’s mother was Julia and he had a sister named
Elizabeth. Research yielded Julia Rust aged 62 listed in an Aberdeen census of 1901
with a daughter Elizabeth Rust where Julia states she was born in India which
fits in with the story. Both Julian Rust and his father Thomas Rust made grand
portraits in Mussoorie. One of them, of an English lady was published as
cabinet card in 2009. I am also posting it’s photograph.
Later in 1930’s when Nawab Istafa Khan saw the
portrait in the showcase of his shop he offered to buy it. Julian initially
refused as he himself had developed a great attachment to it. But when Istafa
Khan insisted much, he asked for five hundred rupees a huge sum in those days.
Which Istafa Khan was initially reluctant to pay but finally agreed to
purchase. During the Time when Nawab Istafa Khan purchased the portrait (In
1930’s) from Julian Rust, he was probably completing his career as a photographer.
As we can deduce from historical accounts. So perhaps one reason the old aged
Julian Rust agreed to sell the portrait of Nathji to Istafa Khan is, that in
those days he as in the process of closing shop. Shree Nathji’s portrait gave
him great bliss as long as it was in his studio. And when he was in the process
of closing it, that portrait got him five hundred rupees, which must have been
an important sum for him at that time when he was closing his studio. Nathji
created such a pastime that Julian was helped financially and the portrait
beautifully passed it to his devotee Istafa Khan.
Priya Nath Mehta - Another earth shattering discovery! Congratulations!! Only you were capable of this wonderful and fascinating research!