The Delhi Durbar, meaning 'Court of Delhi', was a mass assembly to commemorate the coronation of the King or Queen of England. This occurred at Delhi in 1877, 1903 and 1911, at the height of the British Empire's power. In 1877 it was called the 'Proclamation Durbar', and was held on the 1st of January to commemorate the coronation and proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India. In 1877 Durbar was largely an official event attended by the 1st Earl of Lytton - Viceroy of India, maharajas, nawabs and intellectuals, and marked the culmination of the transfer of control of much of India from the British East India Company to the British Government.
A watercolour painting with a similar depiction of the Delhi Durbar was sold in these Rooms from the Niall Hobhouse Collection, May 22nd 2008, lot 65.