Lion of Punjab treasure leads Bonhams sale in London
October 11, 2018: A gold thread-embroidered, velvet-clad leather quiver and bow holder, almost certainly made for Maharajah Ranjit Singh, Lion of the Punjab, is among a wealth of Sikh treasures to be offered at Bonhams Islamic and Indian Art sale in London on October 23.
Estimated at £80,000-120,000, it is believed that the Maharajah commissioned a quiver in 1838 to wear at the wedding of his eldest son and heir Kharak; and he appears to be wearing the one in the sale – or one extremely similar to it – in a painting of the same year by the French artist Alfred de Dreaux, now in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
Bonhams Head of Indian and Islamic Art, Oliver White, said, "This is a wonderful piece from the fabled Treasury of Lahore, and all the circumstantial evidence points to it being the one made in 1838 for Ranjit Singh, Lion of the Punjab – the state's greatest and most famous leader. The quiver was made purely for ceremonial purposes, and appears to have been rarely worn. As a result, it is in excellent condition."
Other highlights of the sale include, a Mughal emerald seal (made for, and bearing the name of, Marian Hastings, estimated at £20,000-30,000), The Lockwood Kipling Album (estimated at £100,000-150,000), and an emerald and seed-pearl necklace from the Lahore Treasury (estimated at £80,000-120,000).