DHAR. Sir Anand Rao Puar, K.C.S.I., Maharaja of Dhar, circa 1877


An interesting 10½ x 8¼ ins group portrait pasted to old card. The portrait is somewhat faded and has some unfortunate loss of surface marks, mainly to the left edge. The Maharaja [ now called Anand Raje III Pawar ] is shown wearing the two large medals for the Royal Visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales [later Edward VII] in 1875 and for the 1877 Imperial Assemblage in Delhi where the Viceroy Lord Lytton declared Queen Victoria Empress of India. Beneath these he wears the breast badge of Knight Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India which he was awarded on 1st January 1877. The youth on his left is possibly an adopted heir. The most striking thing about this image is the setting. The group sit on humble kitchen chairs in a very makeshift screened off area. The great durbar of 1877 was an extraordinary meeting of traditional India, where often little had changed in centuries, and the British imperial formality. The Maharaja wears smart western shoes but the others, apart from the youth, are barefooted. Dhar was a 15 gun salute state bordering Gwalior, Ratlam, and Indore. may9/5

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