AN INSCRIBED SIKH STANDARD HEAD
AN INSCRIBED SIKH STANDARD HEAD
AN INSCRIBED SIKH STANDARD HEAD
AN INSCRIBED SIKH STANDARD HEAD
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AN INSCRIBED SIKH STANDARD HEAD

PUNJAB, INDIA, 18TH OR 19TH CENTURY

Details
AN INSCRIBED SIKH STANDARD HEAD
PUNJAB, INDIA, 18TH OR 19TH CENTURY
The gilt-copper standard head in the form of a sword (khanda) with waisted sides rising to a central point, a central ridge running vertically on both sides, from the bottom extending an open cylinder, a curving line of punched gurmukhi on one side of the khanda near the top, flaking and losses to the gilding throughout
20 ½in. (52.2cm.) long
Engraved
Gurada ārā khālasā pātasāhī chevī ḍerā bhāī Guradāsa jī Kābala 'The valiant-adorning Empire of the Khalsa, sixth cantonment, brother Gurdas, Kabul'

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Lot Essay

Ceremonial standards play an important role in Sikh religious practice, both as parts of a Sikh temple and to be carried in processions. The inscription on the present standard head mentions Kabul, associated with Sikhism since Guru Nanak’s visit to the city in the 15th century. Here, it appears to refer to a division of the Khalsa army led by Bhai Gurdas. Alternatively, the inscription may be a commemorative one, invoking the name of the illustrious 17th-century Sikh preacher of the same name.

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