Auction of Sikh Empire’s artifacts in Britain
London – An 1805 report, first-hand accounts, a book and and a few paintings throwing light on the life of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, under whom the Sikh empire expanded to its maximum, will go under the hammer at Mullock’s auction house here Nov 5.
One of the highlights of the auction will be an early edition of the “History of the Sikhs” by Joseph Davy Cunningham which was published in 1853. It is considered the first extensive work on the Sikhs by a European, said a statement here Monday.
Other items on sale will be a first-hand account of the Sikhs by John Malcolm (1813), an 1803 account by the Marquis of Wellesley, portraits of Ranjit Singh and Gulab Singh, a rare 19th century British cast model, a fine engraving of the Nihangs dating to 1844, an early drawing of Ranjit Singh, an illustrated book on the Sikh court of Lahore by a Russian traveller, and the earliest European view of the Golden Temple dating to 1836.
“This is one of earliest accounts of Ranjit Singh, he would have been at the tender age of 25, a young ambitious man who was set to rule a vast empire. He was clearly an obstacle to the British expanding their territory in India,” specialist Richard Westwood-Brookes said of the 1803 account.
“This sale is very unique as it sheds light on the Sikh empire and religion from the eyes of the British and European explorers of the 19th century,” he added.