"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," said Oliver White, Bonhams Head of Indian and Islamic Art.
"The quiver was made purely for ceremonial purposes, and appears to have been rarely worn. As a result, it is in excellent condition," he notes.
According to Bonhams historians, archery played an important role in Sikh military culture. Long after bows and arrows were superseded by more modern weaponry, they retained a ceremonial and symbolic significance, especially among the nobility who would appear in public wearing an embroidered quiver at their side.
It is believed that the Maharaja 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, the auction house said. -- PTI
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