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Rare books on Sikhism, Punjab emerge in London sale

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/rare-books-on-sikhism-punjab-emerge-in-london-sale/story-It445bHhVoPN2bUC7Qi2dM.html

June 24 2020

A London-based rare books dealer on Wednesday launched a collection of rare books, original manuscripts and artwork on India that includes several first editions of work on Sikhs, Sikhism and Punjab dating from early eighteenth century.

The 40-item collection from dealer Peter Harrington includes the first translation of the Adi Granth into English and several travel narratives set in the kingdom of Ranjit Singh, and military handbooks dedicated to Sikh customs – hailed in them as ‘the bravest and steadiest of soldiers’.

Others offering glimpses of life in India under British rule include a book by Captain Lakshmi, who was appointed by Subhash Chandra Bose as commander of the Rani of Jhansi Regiment in the Indian national Army, and three elusive monographs on the ruling families of Punjab, written or inspired by Lepel H. Griffin, a colourful official in nineteenth century British India.

Glen Mitchell, senior book specialist at Europe’s largest anquarian book dealer, said: “We have seen an increased interest in the last 20 years from collectors of works from the Indian sub-continent, and the demand for 19th and early 20th century British accounts of this fascinating period in colonial history continues to attract a core group of collectors based both in the region and diaspora in the UK and beyond.”

Topics that remain enduringly collectable include those focused on military exploits, colonial exploration, seminal religious texts, ethnographical, geographical, botanical and zoological accounts, and of course administrative, historical and political works,” he added.

Highlights of the collection include an eyewitness account of Ranjit Singh’s kingdom written by Shahamat Ali, the expedition leader’s Indian-born munshi and inscribed by him to the earl of Shaftesbury; The Life of Robert Lord Clive, Baron Plassey by Charles Caraccioli – the first biography of Clive, considered something of a character assassination by his enemies within the East India Company; and I.N.A. Defence. Subject People’s Right to Fight for Freedom – two contemporary publications of the address delivered by J. Bhulabhai Desai in defence of members of the INA on trial for treason.

Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington, said: “While we have curated selections on Asia in the past, this is our first dedicated catalogue on works from India”.

The wealth of rich illustrations, lithographs, maps and coloured plates really lent themselves to creating an interactive and immersive digital-only catalogue that allows our clients to scroll through details and additional images of these fine works.

Source Hindustan times

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Someone with the resources needs to get these safely away from GOI hands before they're conveniently misplaced forever.

 

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