BIKANER. H .H. Maharaja Ganga Singh on an 1890s embossed armorial card


BIKANER. H. H. Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner. A bust length portrait of the young ruler in the uniform of his Camel Corps. The photographic portrait is printed on a 7¼ x 4¾ ins gold edged card embossed in full colour with the coat of arms of the State. The word BANQUET beneath the arms suggests that this was a souvenir of an important formal dinner. We have had similar dinner or banquet cards for some other states [for instance Mysore and Bhopal] which have included a portrait of the ruler. They would have been on the table at dinners hosting important visitors – usually visiting Indian or European Royalty or a Viceroy. The portrait probably dates from the mid 1890s before the young ruler’s moustache was fully developed. The reverse of the card has marks suggesting it has once been pasted into an old album and there is very slight damage along the top of the gilt treated edge of the card.   feb14/2

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