Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir Presentation Photograph Frame, 1930
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Measurements: 25cm (9.75in) x 16cm (6.25in)
Silver photograph frame of rectangular form with the arch pediment applied the arms in gold of the last ruling Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, His Highness Sir Hari Singh. (Arms: A shield of sun symbolising the Maharajah’s Rajput lineage from Lord Surya, the Hindu Sun God, within a bordure with a garland of roses (Or). Crest: A sword per fess and a katar per pale, crowned with the Kashmir royal crown. Supporters: Two man of the Guard of the Maharaja, each supporting the royal standard being red with narrow yellow borders at top and bottom and charged in the middle with the sun of the arms). Maker’s mark of Royal Warrant holder Hamilton & Co. Jewellers and Silversmiths, Calcutta, Delhi and Simla. Stamped with the Indian elephant hallmark of circa 1926-1937. Aperture: 19.9cm (7.6in) x 12cm (4.75in). Wooden easel back. Glazed.
H.H. Maharajah Sir Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., G.C.V.O. (1895-1961) was born at the Amar Mahal Palace, Jammu, and served as a page of honour to Lord Curzon at the 1903 Delhi Durbar. He was educated at Mayo College in Ajmer and Imperial Cadet Corps at Dehradun, whence as heir to his uncle Maharaja Pratap Singh, he became Commander-in-Chief of the State Forces in 1915. In 1921 he was blackmailed by a French prostitute to the tune of £300,000 resulting in a court case in London in 1924. The India Office tried to keep his name out of proceedings by arranging for him to be referred to as ‘Mr A’. In 1925 he succeeded his uncle as Maharajah, and introduced reforms that included compulsory education, laws prohibiting child marriage, and access for the low castes to places of worship. At the departure of the British in 1947, Hari Singh manoeuvred to maintain his independence by playing off India and Pakistan. Pashtun Tribesman invaded from Pakistan and defeated the state forces. Hari Singh appealed to India for help, leading at length to the first Indo-Pakistan War. Subsequent political machinations led to the loss of Hari Singh’s throne and his banishment to Bombay where he died fourteen years later in 1961.