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Portrait - One of two Portraits of Maratha princes

One of two Portraits of Maratha princes

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    India (central, made)

  • Date:

    late 19th century (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque water-colour and gold on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This portrait depicts an anonymous prince of the Marathas. He is wearing an elaborate, European-style military uniform, with gold braid and epaulettes, a 'sarpesh' (turban jewel), and a dagger in his waistband. The artist may well have copied the picture from a photograph.

This portrait is very unusual because it is painted on conch shell. There are only two conch shell pictures in the V&A's collection. Most Company Paintings (pictures made by Indian artists for the British) are on paper, ivory, or mica (talc).

Physical description

An oval portrait of a Maratha prince in a military officer's jacket.

Place of Origin

India (central, made)


late 19th century (painted)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque water-colour and gold on paper


Height: 7.5 cm

Object history note

Purchased from the executors of Mrs F.B.P.

Descriptive line

Painting; Gouache on conch shell, Delhi, late 19th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period
Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992 227 p. ISBN 0944142303


Opaque watercolour; Gold; Paper; Paint



Subjects depicted

Costume, Military


Paintings; Indian Company Paintings; Hinduism; Religion


South & South East Asia Collection

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