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$9,000 - $12,000

Large archive pertaining to the Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar, containing photographs, photograph albums, various paper items, letters, telegrams, speeches, documents, etc.

Maharajadhiraj, Raj Rajeshwar Yeshwant Rao Holkar (the second) Bahadur G.C.I.E., L.L.D.




Archive includes many miscellaneous and important ephemera items and personal effects from the Maharajadhiraj Yeshwant Rao Holkar, comprising: A group of approximately 30 paper items, including: the Maharajah’s International Driving Permit issued in London, 1938 with his portrait affixed; printed time table of the Maharajah’s special train trip in 1937; 12 telegrams (mostly via Western Union and RCA); French passport (1936-9) with his portrait affixed; 1940 ticket stubs from a ride on the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. (from New York to Los Angeles); Passenger Ticket stub from Tasman Empire Airways (1941); typed letter signed by “Dorothy B.”; 1942 typed letter signed by George W. White of Thos. Cook & Son-Wagons-Lits Inc., to Mrs. Holkar; 1938 two-page typed letter signed to the Maharajah by L.L. Whyte, director at O.T. Falk & Co.; copy contract of banking information of Mrs. Holkar; 1938 official printed and signed document from the French government; 4 different official signed copies of typed 1939 medical certificates regarding the death of “Her Highness the Maharanee of Indore” each signed by the examining medical doctor (three are 2-pages and one 4-pages); plus more. * 52-page pamphlet of typed and printed sources (on recto side only) containing speeches of the Maharajah; a group of 15 or more related newspaper clippings. * Six large (oblong 4to) photograph albums, containing approximately 507 total photographs of various sizes, tipped-in corner mounts or mounted on leaves, mostly showing the Maharaja (hunting, big game kills, at his study, reading, writing, etc.), plus other outdoor scenes, socializing parties, Royalty and other group shots, portraits, etc. One hand-titled on the front cover “Souvenir Garden Party, Woodstock [England], 24th May, 1915” with 69 photographs mostly taken by Willie Burke (with his name lettered in the negative), showing many Indian Royals and dignified people socializing with several English people of high society, in large estate area on rolling grassy hills, tents, foxing hunting scenes, group shots (large and small), an Indian ceremony, a sheep race, a woman golfing (many are panoramic views). Another contains 234, mostly hunting scenes of game killed by the Maharaja. * And, approximately 181 loose photographs of Yeshwant Rao Holkar, his family, and close associates, etc., (some signed by the photographer and/or are mounted on studio card backing or inside photographer’s folder), in various sizes (2x3" to 10½x13½"), showing various hunting scenes, portraits, group shots, travel snap shots, etc.; plus 3 large portrait negatives. Photographers include: Campbell Watkins, Lafayette, Vennemann, Lallie Charles, Matzene, Rita Martin, Herzog & Higgins, Lansing Brown, Speaight Limited Co (Miniature Painters and Child Photographers to the Royal Family) and others. An incredible and extensive archive of important documents, speeches, letters, passports, telegrams, photographs and photograph albums all relating to the Maharajadhiraj Yeshwant Rao Holkar (1908-1961) who ruled from 1926 to 1947 (the 14th ruler of the Holkar dynasty and final ruling royal family member of India). He was one of the richest men of his time (1920-1930’s), whose total assets reached $70 million, family jewelry collection estimated at $20 million, palace at $3 million, and housing 200 servants. The Holkars were a prominent Maratha family, who ruled as rajas and later maharajas of Indore in central India as part of the Maratha Confederacy until 1818, and afterwards as a princely state of British India until India's independence in 1947, when the Holkars acceded to the Indian government. Yeshwant Rao Holkar was ruler of over a million people living in area of nearly 10,000 square miles. After India’s independence, Indore, together with a number of neighboring princely states, became part of the Indian state of Madhya Bharat. Indore became the summer capital of the state and in 1956 was merged into the Madhya Pradesh state. Yeshwant Rao Holkar was groomed and educated from the very start to be a ruler. He was taught by the best of eastern and western cultures and developed into an excellent game hunter / shooter. At age 11 he killed his first tiger. In 1920 he was sent to one of England’s top schools for children, where he was mentored by well-known educator Arthur Tabor. He was taken into the Officers’ Training Corp and was part of the Shooting Eight. He represented the school in the Country Life Shooting competition and scored a perfect 78 out of 78. He succeeded his father in 1926, H.H. Maharaja Tukoji Rao III, who ruled from 1903-26, and was forced to resign by the British government due to some unavoidable circumstances surrounding the death from poisoning of his favorite dancing girl. He was later absolved of any wrong doing. He married in 1924, and in 1930, he took full charge of his empire. The Maharaja commissioned the young German architect, Eckart Muthesius to build and furnish the “Manik Bagh – Jewel Gardens.” This palace developed into a work of art, representing the International Style of the 1930’s with an elegance and a cool functionalism in a tropical climate. He also received help from his friend, Constantin Brancusi, the great avant-garde sculptor. Eckart Muthesius later became the Maharaja’s chief architect, designing hospital buildings, a country house, a houseboat in the Kashmir lakes and two air crafts. Holkar's first wife died in 1937 (whom he had one daughter with) and he remarried in 1938 to an American woman in Santa Ana, California. However, the marriage didn’t last long and they divorced in 1942. In 1948, the Holkar state officially merged into the united India. Also that year, the Maharaja sustained a serious hip injury and was treated in the U.S. by a specialist. The people he governed were deeply concerned and prayed for him. After his return, Indore observed a public holiday for him. No other person was so much loved and respected by the local people. It is said that even the visit of Gandhi and Nehru did not attract that much crowd attention as was observed on the Maharaja’s safe return.

Lot Amendments

Mild wear overall, occasional tears and creases to paper items, a few photos with light edge wear and some fading; from very good to near fine.

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