Sunita Devi

Sunita Devi

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Category: Fashion

Sunita Devi Profile

  • Name:
  • Sunita Devi
  • Born / Home Town:
  • Jammu
  • Profession / Known For:
  • Model

Sunita Devi Biography

Sunita Devi was an Indian model for the sculptor Jacob Epstein, based in London. Her real name is Armina Peerbhoy, and she was simply addressed as Sunita. She lived during the period, 1897 – 1932. She was only 35 years old when she passed away. Her death is believed to be a political assassination, and still a murder mystery. It was reported that she had already predicted her death soon after her return to India in 1931. Many people believed that she was poisoned while her closeness to participants in the Round Table Conferences created doubts in others’ hearts and they had a misperception that she was a ‘spy’.


Sunita Devi hailed from a Muslim family of Kashmir and she was born in 1897. She married Ahmed Peerbhoy, a millionaire of Bombay. In the early 1920s she moved to England with her son Enver and younger sister Anita Patel, who was also separated from her spouse. They joined Maysculine Brothers, a troupe of magicians in England. She performed stunts as a part of stage shows for the group and later the sisters had a stand selling erotic trinkets at the British Empire Exhibition during 1924 – 25.


Slowly she developed a persona as an Indian mystic and fortune teller and came to be known as Princess Sunita. She had a new career beginning when she possessed as a model for artists. At first she posed for the artist Matthew Smith from 1924. Slowly they grew close. Jacob Epstein had earlier met Sunita at the British Empire Exhibition. Later she became his muse for his sculptures which made her popular. Epstein sculpted Enver's head in 1926 and 1927 and heads of Sunita three times in 1926. They also modelled together for the artist’s work, Madonna and Child (1927).


Published: January 05, 2020

Updated: January 05, 2020

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