SOLD Antique Indian Sikh Miniature Portrait of Ranjit Singh Gold Brooch 19th Century India
SOLD An antique, 19th century, finely hand painted in gouache on an oval, natural wafer, a miniature portrait of Ranjit Singh, Indian Sikh, framed in a high carat gold (18k -22k) mount as a brooch.
Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) was the ruler of the Sikh Empire in Punjab. Commander of a powerful army and skilled diplomat, he was on fairly good terms with the British for most of his reign. Prior to the 1st Afghan War (1839-1842), he had already attempted to replace Emir Dost Muhammad with Shah Shuja and annexed Peshawar, the richest Afghan province.
The growing British fear of Russian influence in Afghanistan and Dost Muhammad's refusal to cooperate led the British to join Ranjit Singh in support of Shah Shuja's claim to the throne. On 25 June 1838, they, therefore, negotiated the Treaty of Simla between Shujah and the Sikh ruler, confirming the latter in possession of Peshawar. In return, the Sikhs were supposed to use their powerful army in support of Shuja. The British would offer only minor assistance. However, the cunning old Maharaja was disinclined to risk his own soldiers and was happy to let the British take the lead militarily. He also refused to let the British cross the heartland of his territory en route to Afghanistan, which ruled out the use of the Khyber Pass as an invasion route.
In this painting, Maharaja Ranjit Singh is painted on a sky-blue background, armed with a bow and arrow; he holds an arrow in his right hand and a gold-plated bow hung over his left shoulder.
He is wearing a white turban capped by a diadem jeweled with precious stones and affixed with a white Aigrette feather on the front.
He wears a golden robe decorated with an elaborate pattern and edges trimmed with brown fur.
Dimensions with frame: 52 mm x 45 mm. (2.5 inches x 1.77 inches).
WEIGHT: 20 grams
CONDITION: This original painting is in very good condition, without restorations or repairs. Gold frame showing its age and use.