A Sikh inscribed matchlock rifle
Lot 209Y
A flintlock and percussion dual-ignition Gun belonging to Kahn Singh Majithia, a Sikh chieftain Lahore, Punjab, circa 1840
£6,000 - 8,000
US$ 9,300 - 12,000

Lot Details
A flintlock and percussion dual-ignition Gun belonging to Kahn Singh Majithia, a Sikh chieftain
Lahore, Punjab, circa 1840
the lock engraved with foliate decoration, the breech and muzzle decorated in koftgari with a repeat design of scrolling foliate motifs, the breech with an inscription in koftgari in gurmukhi script, the watered steel barrel cast with half pole medallions at either end terminating in palmettes, the wood stock with horn butt
135 cm. long

Footnotes

  • The inscription in gurmukhi script reads: 'May the Immortal One protect the noble Lord Kahn Singh Majithia' (akal sahai sarkar kahn singh majithia).

    Kahn Singh (d. 1853) was a minor military officer when he is said to have killed a lion with his sword while out hunting with Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1831. Having impressed his king, he was promoted and by 1838, he was an officer of the irregular cavalry force known as the Ghorchurra Khas. Its members were primarily recruited from the landed gentry and were required to supply their own equipment.

    At the beginning of the Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-49), Kahn Singh was commandant of the Sikh force at Peshawar. He switched sides and fought the British both at Chillianwala and Gujrat. At the time of the annexation of Punjab to British India, his property was confiscated and he was pensioned off. He died in 1853 at Majitha, his ancestral village, where, it is said, he used his two elephants for ploughing his lands with a specially designed 20-pronged plough. He also had a very large well and Persian wheel constructed, and used the elephants for irrigating his fields.
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