A child's waistcoat, cummerbund and cap, formerly the property of Maharajah Duleep Singh (3)
Lot 215
A child's velvet Waistcoat, Cummerbund and Cap as worn by Princess Sophia Duleep Singh circa 1887(3)
£1,000 - 1,500
US$ 1,700 - 2,500
Auction Details
Lot Details
A child's velvet Waistcoat, Cummerbund and Cap as worn by Princess Sophia Duleep Singh
circa 1887
the waistcoat and cummerbund of black velvet with applied gilt thread trim, embellished with coins, the cap of red silk also with applied coins
the waistcoat 34 cm. high(3)


  • Provenance: acquired by the antique dealer and former chairman of the British Antique Dealers Association John Bly (when he was a boy) in 1952, on a visit to Elveden Hall, the Suffolk home of the Maharajah. Elveden Hall and its contents had been sold by the Maharajah's executors to Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh, in 1894. Bly's father had been asked by local agents to value the few remaining items at the Hall. The items of clothing were amongst various effects which were due to be thrown away. The present vendor possesses a 2009 letter signed by Bly attesting to this.

    The present lot was worn by Princess Sophia Alexdrowna Duleep Singh (1876 - 1948) as a child for dressing up and she can be seen wearing the costume alongside her siblings at a fancy dress party in a photograph taken c. 1887 (published in Bance, Peter, The Duleep Singhs. The Photograph Album of Queen Victoria's Maharajah, Stroud, 2004, p. 79).

    Princess Sophia was the daughter of Maharajah Duleep Singh and his first wife Maharani Bamba Muller, and goddaughter of Queen Victoria. In 1887, around the time of the photograph, Maharani Bamba died and the Duleep Singh children were sent to live with an English family in Kent.

    In adult life, Princess Sophia was a prominent figure in the Suffragette movement, marching alongside Emeline Pankhurst at the head of the Black Friday deputation to Parliament in 1910 and after Mrs Pankhurst's death in 1928, she took over as president of the committee. She was also a member of the Women's Tax Resistance League, appearing in court several times for her refusal to pay taxes until women were granted the right to vote.

Saleroom notices

  • This lot has been withdrawn.
  1. Matthew Thomas
    Specialist - Islamic and Indian Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work +44 20 7468 8270
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 8283