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Ranjit Singh : Sikh, Warrior, King - Davinder Toor

Ranjit Singh

Sikh, Warrior, King

By: Davinder Toor

Paperback | 16 July 2024

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Through exquisite artworks, glittering jewellery and weaponry discover how Ranjit Singh, one of the greatest figures in the history of India, established a hugely influential Sikh Empire at the beginning of the 19th century.

Through a stunning selection of over one hundred key objects from the Sikh Empire drawn from major private and public collections, explore how a voracious warrior-king named Ranjit Singh brought about a golden age in Punjab where trade boomed, the arts flourished and a formidable army was developed along European lines to keep any British, Afghan, Persian or Russian threat at bay.

Backed by the tactical support of a guileful mother-in-law and a holy man with a penchant for warfare, Ranjit Singh would emerge as the regionâs undisputed âmaharajaâ or Great King at the beginning of the nineteenth century. His meteoric rise to power ushered in a short-lived but hugely influential Sikh Empire that would inextricably impact on the fortunes of Britainâs empire in the Indian subcontinent.

This book, published to coincide with an exhibition at the Wallace Collection, features historic artworks, jewellery and weaponry from Ranjit Singhâs court, courtiers and family members. Also highlighted are objects intimately connected with his son, Maharaja Duleep Singh â" the deposed boy-king turned country squire who was a favourite of Queen Victoria and father of the prominent suffragette Princess Sophia Duleep Singh.

Richly illustrated, this catalogue also reveals the achievements of Ranjit Singhâs European and American Officials. Acknowledging Ranjit Singhâs remarkable feat of holding back the threat of a British invasion for four decades, these âFirangisâ would nickname their esteemed Sikh sovereign âThe Napoleon of the Eastâ.

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