Maharao Umed Singhji

Maharao Umed Singhji, (1873, r. 1889-1940)
Maharaja of Kotah, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E.

After a photograph by Bourne & Shepherd, Hand-coloured by an Indian artist
circa 1910

Opaque colour on photograph
14 x 12 in. (35.5 x 30.5 cm.)

Maharao Umed Singh was born at Kotra, an estate within the State of Kotah, in 1873. He succeeded his adopted father in 1889 as the Maharao of Kotah. He was visited by the Queen- Empress, who accompanied her husband, The King-Emperor, to the Delhi Durbar in 1911. She arrived at Kotah in a ‘motor- car’, coming from Bundi, on December 24, 1911 and was entertained by Maharao Umed Singh until December 28.

Bourne and Shepherd were one of the most important British photographic firms in Bombay throughout the 19th century. They were mainly patrons to the royal families of India and also tended to photograph British imperial visits. They were originally British photographers, but later in circa 1900 were taken over by Indian operators. They also had studios in Calcutta and Simla. In this official photographic portrait Maharao Umed Singh displays the badge belonging to the insignia of the star of India and, in addition to the collar, as part of the insignia of the Order to the Indian Empire.