Indian Princes. 24 cartes de visite portraits, circa 1875-77


Bourne & Shepherd. An album containing 24 cartes de visite portraits of Indian Princes mainly dating from the 1870s, many probably taken in connection with the royal visit of 1875 by HRH the Prince of Wales or the 1877 Imperial Assemblage at Delhi.

The cards are all original and marked Bourne & Shepherd, India, apart from two which are Bourne & Shepherd, Simla. Almost all have gilt edges, are in good clean condition, and now contained in a late 19th century album where they are inserted in the facing page only. Many of the portraits in this group are not the most obvious, major princes and are portraits which are not easy to find.

All but two or three of the sitters have been identified by an ‘expert’ employed by a previous owner of these cards and although the attributions seem correct so far as we can tell we offer no guarantee and potential buyers should make up their own minds.

The attributions include

Banesinhji Jaswant Sinhji, Maharana of Wankaner b. 1842, ruling 1842-81. [a Simla card]. Three quarter length with a dagger in his belt.

Digbijai Singh, Maharaja of Balrampur, 1818 [a Simla card]. Small central oval bust length portrait, wearing the unusual headdress with  drooping egret’s feathers.

Mansinhji II Prithviraj, Maharawal of Baria, 1855-1908. Three quarter length, seated with a sword of tulwar type and a dagger in his belt.

Jaisingh Rao Naramanrai, Raja of Kagal (Senior Branch), 1838-86. Full length.

Sivaji VI Chhatrapti Narayana Rao, Raja of Kolhapur, b. 1863, ruling 1871-83. Full length seated as a minor.

Lakshmeshwar Singh, Maharaja of Darbhanga, b. 1857, ruling 1860-98. Full length seated as a young man.

Mansinsinhji II, Raj Sahib of Dhrangadhra, b. 1837, ruling 1869-1900. Three quarter length seated with a velvet cased sword of scimitar type.

Ishwar Prasad Narayan Singh, Maharaja of Benares, b. 1837, ruling 1835-89. \three quarter length seated and holding a sword. Thgis card is somewhat faded.

Madhav Rao, Dewan of Travancore, in office 1858-72. Three quarter length seated, holdoing a scroll.

The Hon Ganpat Rao, Chief of Miraj (Senior Branch), 1870s. Seated three quarter length holding a tulwar.

Ayilyam Rama Varma III, Maharaja of Travancore, ruling 1860-80. Seated three quarter length.

Pusapati Vijaya Rana Ganpati Raju, Ruler of Vizianagram, 1845-1879. Full leangth wearing cavalry uniform and carrying a sword of British 1822 general officer’s pattern.

Thakur Sahib of Rajkot, 1859-90. Three quarter length

Sir Kalb Ali Khan, Nawab of Rampur, b.1832, ruling 1865-87. Full length with elaborately decorated sword of scimitar type, standing beside a silver throne chair.

Jai Singh II, Thaku of Dhrol, b.1824, ruling 1845-86. Seated holding a sword.

Mohammad Zorawar Khanji, Nawab of Balasinor, b 1828, ruling 1831-82

Wakhat Singh Dalil Singh, Rana of Lunawada, b 1860, rulingfrom 1867. Full length leaning against a chair and holding a sword of tulwar type.

Darbar Shri Ala Chela Kachar, Chief of Jasdan, b. 1831, ruling from 1852. Full length with a sword.

Bijay Sen, Raja of Mandi, b 1846, ruling 1852-1902. Full length portrait.

A feudatory chief of the Raja of Kolhapur, seated and holding a sword

Together with three other portraits, as yet unidentified although one seems to be a prince of Mysore.

The illustrations show: the album with portraits; the three unidentified portraits, Raja of Kolhapur; Mahrawal of Baria; Maharaja of Vizianagram; the exterior of the album.

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