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Sikh Raj Paintings - Elveden


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Gurfateh !

Last weekend I went to Elveden - the country estate once owned by Maharajah Duleep Singh - It is a tradition in our house that all visiting relatives get a tour of London and Cambridge (including Elveden) - it is probably the reason why I have such an interest in Punjabi History, Museums, paintings and the like (Thanks Dad !).

I have always wanted to see the interior of Elveden Hall - the closest I have ever got is looking through the windows and the gardens (as you know Punjabis never take any notice of 'Private Property' 'No Entry' and 'enter at own risk' signs !)

Here are a collection of Photographs that show Elveden Hall as it was when Duleep Singh bought it , his renovations and the later additions.

The photographs also show the famous paintings that hung in Elveden Hall - a constant reminder of more grander times and past glories.

The Maharajah bought Elveden Hall ( located in Suffolk near Thetford) in 1864 - for £105,000 - the money raised by a loan from the India Office at 4 percent interest.

It was a sprawling sporting estate of some 17 thousand acres -it rivalled nearby Sandringham (The Queens estate) as one of the best places to hunt and shoot - Duleep Singh was rated fourth best shot in Britain.

The original building was quite plain - Duleep Singh practically rebuilt it in Italian Renaissance style - but the inside was based on the Mughal Style of the Lahore Fort.

The Drawing room was styled after the Shish Mahal - the Hall and main rooms decorated with Indo Persian / Mughal arches and pilasters.

The famous Dussehra painting of Ranjit Singh's Darbar hung in the Hall and a copy of Winterhalter's portrait of Duleep Singh in the Dining Room.

Elveden was sold by Duleep Singh's trustees after his death in 1894 for £159,000 to the Lord of Iveagh - the Guinness Family (yes - as in the 'Black Stuff') they still own the estate.

**Black and White photographs from The Collection of the Thetford Library.

Elveden Hall in 1863

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The renovations made by Duleep Singh

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Duleep Singh Standing in the portico of Elveden Hall

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Elveden Hall 1877, Lord Frederick Fitz-roy, Lord Leicester, Duke of Athol, Lord Dacre, Prince of Wales, Lord Rendlesham, Lord Holmesdale, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Maharajah, Lord Ripon, Lord Westbury, Sir R. Beauchamp, Capt. Goldingham

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The Interiors

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The Main Hall - showing the famous August Schoefft 'Dussehra' painting of Ranjit Singh's Darbar on the right and a portrait of Duleep Singh by Capt. Goldingham on the left.

Both paintings are now in the Princess Bamba Collection in the Sikh Gallery of Lahore fort

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the Schoeftt and Goldingham paintings

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The Dining Room - with a copy of the F X Winterhalter's portrait of Duleep Singh above the fireplace

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the Winterhalter painting

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The sitting room of Redneck Farm on the Elveden Estate - you can see the August Schoefft portrait of Maharaja Sher Singh - seated on the Golden Throne - hanging on the right as well as a portrait of Ranjit Singh.

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the Schoefft painting - now also in the Princess Bamba Collection.

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The hall

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The drawing room

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The dining room

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Elveden Hall as it is today - the Dome and extension were added by Lord Iveagh

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The Gravestones of Maharaja Duleep Singh, his wife and son at St Andrews church on the Elveden Estate

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as they are today

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Hope you enjoyed the post

Ranjit Singh 'Freed'

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