24 Portrait Photographs
Once upon a time in India, there lived many Maharajas. Fabulously rich and revered by their subjects, most lead extravagant life punctuated by splendid palaces, priceless jewels, a stable of polo and race horses, garages full of vintage cars, innumerable queens and as many, if not more concubines! Sumptuous feasts served on gold and silver plates, frequent trips abroad to gather treasures from far and wide, were but a part of their lives.
Many lived for themselves, indulging in over the top revelry of Bacchanalian standards. But there were the enlightened few, who ensured that their subjects had access to education, medical care and civic facilities. Ranking of the Maharajas was loosely based on the prestige of the state or ruler concerned; this could be territorial size, military might or lineage.
During British rule, the need for a universal order of precedence became necessary, so a system of gun salutes gradually came into vogue. The more important rulers received salutes ranging from 21 guns; each descending step being two guns less than the preceding rank: 21-guns, 19-guns, 17-guns, etc.
Here we present you an exclusive portfolio of portrait photographs taken by Lala Deen Dayal of some the most influential Maharajas of India.
Lala Deen Dayal was the favourite photographer of Indian Royalty as well as British dignitaries. Lala Deen Dayal was born in 1844 in the family of jewellers.
He began working as a draftsman in the Public Works Department at Indore and took up photography. Impressed by his work, Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar II introduced him to Sir Henry Daly, the Agent to the Governor-General for Central India.
Lala Deen Dayal traveled with Sir Lepel Griffin through Bundelkhand, resulting in a portfolio of 86 photographs, known as ‘Famous Monuments of Central India’.
He photographed the Royal Tour of Prince and Princess of Wales. He became the court photographer to the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1855 and was also appointed as the photographer to the Viceroy of India.
The Nizam conferred the honorary title of ‘Raja’ upon him. In the 1870s, he established studios in Hyderabad, Bombay (Mumbai) and Indore. He was appointed as ‘Photographer to Her Majesty and Queen’ by Queen Victoria in 1887.
He received numerous awards in India and abroad. After his death in 1905, his family continued the photography business, and his descendants still run the studio in Hyderabad.
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A3 Image Size:
11.5″ (H) x 16.5″ (W)
A3 Mountboard Size:
19.5″ (W) x 24.5″ (H)
22.5″ (W) x 27.5″ (H)
8″ (W) x 10″ (H)
Archival print of the original photograph.
1 x Photo print
1 x History note
1 x Princely India Map
1 x Photographer’s Profile of Lala Deen Dayal
1 x Certificate printed on digitally reproduced stamp paper belonging to the individual Maharaja’s princely state