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Neg. No: 8181A
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 22-12-1919

copyright V&A

Sitter: Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena(1) (1888-1949)

copyright V&A

Image published in:


Biog: Mudaliyar;(2) Sri Lankan landowner and philanthropist
Who Was Who 1941-50, p xxxvi (addendum)
...The Padikara Mudaliyar of Ceylon.... Received title and gold sword from the British Government, 1913; visited England in 1919; received in Private Audience by the King... President of the Association of the Chiefs of Ceylon (1921-28)... Address: Richmond Castle, Ceylon.

Date: 22 December 1919.

Occasion: Visit to England... received in Private Audience by the King

Location: The Lafayette Studio, 179 New Bond Street, London.

Descr: TQL standing.

Costume: Heavily encrusted gold embroidery, often on red velvet, is frequently seen in Sri Lankan ceremonial dress. The splendid hat lying on the table is of a type worn in Sri Lanka since the 17th or 18th century. The ornate sword has a typically Sri Lankan hilt ending in a mythical animal head.

Orders, Decorations & Medals:

Gold plated brass pendant with the following inscriptions:-

(1) ' In token of the high esteem and regard for his many acts of philanthropy and usefulness to the general public of Ceylon this medal is presented to Nanayakkarage Don Arthur Thomas Leo Silva Wijeysinghe Siriwardana by his numerous friends and well-wishers on the occasion of his investiture with the rank of Mohandiram by his excellency Sir Henry Arthur Mc Callum C.G.M.G. A.D.C.& c. Governor of Ceylon on the 67th Anniversary of the Birthday of His Majesty King- Emperor Edward VII. 9th November 1908.'
(2) ' Presented to N.D.A.Silva Wijeysinghe Siriwardena Mohandiram by his friends and admirers among the Kandyan chiefs as a mark of hearty appreciation of the recognition by the Government of his manifold acts of charity and benevolence.''

Furniture & Props: Studio painted backdrop.

Photographer: Lafayette Ltd., 179 New Bond Street, London.

Evidence of photographer at work: -

No of poses: 1.

Copyright: V&A Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


Biog: The Sunday Observer, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 26 May 1996 ("Leisure" section), pp 21, 25, article entitled 'Mansion now a big tourist draw'; Who Was Who

Occasion: Who Was Who


Orders, Decorations & Medals: Mr U Mapa, Public Trustee, Richmond Castle Centre for Underprivileged Children, Kalutara, Sri Lanka

Reproduced: -

Additional Information: Visual identification by Mr U. Mapa

Acknowledgements: (Costume) Rosemary Crill, Indian Department, V&A; (Inscription) Mr U. Mapa.

1. The Sunday Observer, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 26 May 1996 ("Leisure" section), pp 21, 25, article entitled 'Mansion now a big tourist draw'. This article, and the photograph published on p 25 provided the identification for the negative, originally labelled "Padikara-Mudaliyar". According to the article, Don Arthur's hometown was Kalutara, in the western province. The home he built, Richmond Castle, is now an education centre for the underprivileged children of the Kalutara-Panadura province. Don Arthur is referred to in the article as 'the Pakidara Mudali'. "The British respected him so much that they conferred on him the title of Mudaliyar [see footnote 2] and assigned 40 security guards to protect him."

2. M.N.M. Kamil Asad, PhD, The Muslims of Sri Lanka under the British Rule, Windsor Publications, Sri Lanka, 1996, p 119n: "Native Official, Chief aide to the Governor of the Colony under British rule and the highest rank in the hierarchy of native officials."


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