Simroo Sahab-ki-Haweli Bharatpur
Photographer: Priyalall and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the haweli or house of Simroo Sahab at Bharatpur in Rajasthan, taken by the studio of Priyalall & Company in c.1900. This is a general view looking across the courtyard towards the house. It is likely that Simroo Sahab refers either to the French mercenary Walter Reinhardt (d.1778), known as Samru or Sombre for his swarthy complexion, or to his great-grandson, David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre (1808-1851). Dyce Sombre was the adopted son and heir of Reinhardt's wife, the remarkable Begum Samru (d.1836). At his death, Reinhart held the fiefdom of Sardhana in nearby Uttar Pradesh and property in Bharatpur among other places. Dyce Sombre died in London and was buried in Sardhana. Another print of this image is captioned ‘House of Sumroo Sahib, Bhurtpore, used as a dispensary’, suggesting that by the time this photograph was taken, the house was being used as a medical dispensary.
The album of 'Views in the Bharatpur State and Neighbourhod' was presented to the India Office in 1912 by the Festival of Empire, held in 1911 at Crystal Palace in London to mark the coronation of George V. The Maharaja of Bharatpur was among the exhibitors in the Indian Section of the Imperial Exhibition held as part of the Festival.