Sir Pratap Singh Takhtsingh (1845-1922)
Maharaja of Idar, Regent of Jodhpur
Albumen print on carte-de-visite, c. 1875
Size: 4 x 2.5 in. (10.2 x 6.4 cm)
Inscription: HH Pratapsingh of Jodhpore
Pratap Singh was the third son of Sir Takhatsingh, the Maharaja of Jodhpur. In 1878 when his brother – Jaswant Singh became the Maharaja, he served as the Prime Minister and enacted many fundamental reforms in the Marwar state. Post his brother’s death in 1895, he served as regent for his fifteen-year-old nephew until 1898. However, following the death of the ruler of Idar in 1901, Pratap Singh became the Maharaja of Idar from 1902 until he resigned in favour of his adopted son in 1911 to return to Jodhpur to be regent again. He served regent for his grandnephew Sumer Singh from 1911 to 1918 and finally for his second grandnephew Umaid Singh from 1918, until his own death in 1922.
His polo team was the champion in India in 1893. It also played in England in 1897, becoming the first Indian team to play on British soil. He also grew close to Queen Victoria and her family. His frequent visits to France made him a witness to the First World War.
In this portrait Pratap Singh is seen seated on a chair, with his hand resting on a draped table placed beside him, with books on top and a rifle leaning against it, probably showcasing the learned as well as the warrior spirit of the Maharaja. He is wearing the royal attire and a stole covering his lap. His neck, hands, legs are dressed in jewels, and a turban made of cloth is also embellished with jewellery.