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Duleep Singh

Early Photographs in the Royal Collection

Baron Carlo Marochetti (1805-67)

Maharaja Duleep Singh c. 1850-6

RCIN 41542

Durbar Corridor, Osborne House

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Marochetti's likeness of Duleep Singh follows Winterhalter's in almost all respects except for details of jewellery, and it seems likely that the sculptor studied the painting while making his bust, as well as working from photographic sources. Here he includes only the lower part of the central turban jewel, omitting the aigrette. The jewelled miniature of Queen Victoria was given to Duleep’s father by Lord Auckland when he was Governor-General of India. The other pendant jewels were among those Duleep was allowed to retain following the annexation of the Punjab.

From correspondence between Marochetti and Miss Skerrett, Queen Victoria's dresser, it appears that the Queen's birthday gift to her husband in 1856 was a coloured plaster cast of the sculptor's model. The Queen recorded in her Journal that the bust had been ‘entirely spoilt, by being coloured’. (RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 26 August 1856)By September 1857 Marochetti was working on the marble and reported that he had attempted to colour just the head and ‘more lightly’. A fully coloured marble version of the bust survives in the possession of the sculptor's descendants. However there is no trace of colour on the present bust, suggesting that the Queen ordered a completely new version. The bust can be seen on display in the Grand Corridor of Osborne House in a photograph by Jabez Hughes, from the mid-nineteenth century.