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Neg. No: 8616A
Neg. Size: 15"x12"
Neg. Date: 1-2-1921

copyright V&A

Sitter: H.H. Maharani Siniti Devi, CI (18.3.1887) (b. at Sens House, Calcutta, 1864; d. at Ranchi, 10th November 1932), sometime Regent of Cooch-Behar and President of the State Council, eldest daughter of Babu Keshab Chandra Sen.  Married 5 March 1878 Colonel H.H. Maharaja Shri Sir Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur, Maharaja of Cooch Behar.

Biog: Daughter of Babu Keshub Chunder Sen, leader of the Brahmo Samaj;  m. (1878) Maharajah Sir Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur of Cooch Behar (1862-1911).

Date: 1 February 1921.

Occasion: Visit to England (possibly in connection with the publication of her autobiography).

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

Descr: TQL seated.

Costume: Mourning(2) dress.(3)

Costume Supplier: -

Jewellery: -

Furniture & Props: -


Photographer: Lafayette, 179 New Bond Street, London.

Evidence of photographer at work: -

All images of sitter:

Copyright: V&A

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Provenance: Pinewood Studios; acquired 1989.


Biog: Who's Who in India, Lucknow, 1911, Part VIII, p 3; Sunity Devee, Maharani of Cooch Behar, The Autobiography of an Indian Princess, London, 1921; Gayatri Devi and Santha Rama Rau, A Princess Remembers: The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur, London, 1984, p 40; Maharajah of Baroda, The Palaces of India, London, 1980; Biographical information provided by Christopher J Buyers , The Royal Ark

Occasion: -

Costume: -

Costume Supplier: -

Jewellery: -

Reproduced: (Versions) Sunity Devee, Maharani of Cooch Behar, op cit., frontispiece & p 239 ["with my granddaughter Pamela"].

Acknowledgements: (Costume) Rosemary Crill, Indian Department, V&A.

1. NB Pauline Rohatgi, Portraits in the India Office Library and Records, London, 1983, p 277, refers to Sunita Devi

2. When I took off my bangles and they [her children] saw me in widow's dress they cried: "Mother, will you never wear bracelets again; will you never wear those beautiful ear-rings?" "Yes," I said, "I will when I meet your father in the next world." Sunity Devee, op cit, p 197.

3. The Maharani wears a traditional white sari (the colour associated with widows), embroidered with seed pearls and with a European-style pinwheel motif on the skirt.

All images are copyright V&A Museum, London