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.
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.
Costume Supplier: -
Furniture & Props: -
Photographer: Lafayette, 179 New Bond Street, London.
Evidence of photographer at work: -
All images of sitter:
Copyright: V&A 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 http://www.dreamwater.net/regiment/RoyalArk/royalark.htm
Costume Supplier: -
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; (Biography) Christopher Buyers
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