Unparalleled Punjab Antiquarian Book Sale

By Shyam Bhatia

Unparalleled Punjab Antiquarian Book Sale

A unique collection of books on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his times, accounts of the Lahore Durbar and insights into the daily life of the Sikh Court during the reign of Maharaja Dalip Singh are part of the forthcoming London sale devoted to antiquarian books and photographs from the 19th century.

These books are all part of a private library that belongs to a Glasgow-born collector who has spent some 50 years in compiling his collection.

Chiswick Auctions of West London that is organizing the sale have told The Tribune that it will showcase an unparalleled collection of antiquarian books and 19th century photographs related to India and Afghanistan, particularly regions of Punjab, Sind and North West Frontier Province and in relation to Muslims and Sikhs of these regions.

“This rare collection came to us and was found to be a real Aladdin’s Cave, with volumes and titles been hidden in dusty bookcases, some for decades, and others which are rarely to be found in the market,” said Richard Westwood-Brookes, who has been brought in as specialist consultant for the sale.

Among the pick of the selection is “Cabul Prisoners from Drawings by Vincent Eyre, 1843” (lot 120) – a collection of lithographs of Europeans captured during the Afghan campaigns. A particular curiosity is “Watson & Kaye’s People of India”, described as a voluptuous volume with a focus on photographic subjects from Lahore, Kohat, Hazara, Kabul, Multan, present Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The collection comprises all “must-have” books for any enthusiast of these regions, including “Cunningham’s History of the Sikhs”, “Von Orlich’s Travels in India” and countless number of books on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his times, including travels of Victor Jacquemont and Alexander Burnes.

For those interested in the Lahore Durbar, the nine-volume Lahore Political Diaries (lot 62) gives an insight into the daily life in the Sikh Court during the reign of Maharaja Dalip Singh. There is a vast selection on the Sind region, the Kashmir valley and an extensive section on the North West Frontier Province and Afghanistan.

Unparalleled Punjab Antiquarian Book Sale

In addition to bound books, there are military and travel maps, including a theatre of war map of Punjab related to the Sikh wars and a sizeable collection of large albumen photographs of India and Pakistan, covering Lahore, Karachi, Afghanistan, Punjab, Delhi, Lucknow and Indian military photographs, from notable photographers such as Burke, Craddock, Bremner and Bourne & Shepherd.

“The library really has something to offer everyone and we are proud to host this specialist auction, giving a unique opportunity to the public and offering such a large array of Indian books under one roof,” added Westwood-Brookes.

Treasure trove

Books on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his times, accounts of the Lahore Durbar and insights into the daily life of the Sikh Court during the reign of Maharaja Dalip Singh are all part of the forthcoming London sale devoted to antiquarian books and photographs from the 19th century

These books are part of a private library that belongs to a Glasgow-born collector who has spent some 50 years in compiling his collection

The collection comprises all “must-have” books for any enthusiast of these regions, including “Cunningham’s History of the Sikhs”, “Von Orlich’s Travels in India” and countless number of books on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his times, including travels of Victor Jacquemont and Alexander Burnes

View the collection and auction details at Chiswick Auctions

Courtesy of www.tribuneindia.com

 

 

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