London, UK: A copy of the Treaty of Amritsar, dating back to the early 19th century, will be the highlight of an auction in the UK of rare historical documents related to Sikhs.
The treaty, which was a pact struck between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Charles T Metcalfe on behalf of the British East India Company in 1809, is expected to fetch £600 to £800 (around Rs 54,000-Rs 72,000).
It was presented to the British Parliament in 1818 and went on to define IndoSikh relations for a generation.
“We are honoured to be selling this rare document. The Amritsar treaty was very important in the foundation of the great empire Maharaja Ranjit Singh had built. We are also excited about the large number of rare Sikh books we have for sale,” said Richard Westwood-Brookes from Mullock’s auction house, which is organising the sale at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire on August 21.
The East India Company’s need for a defensive treaty against the French resulted in the pact, which chalked out the frontier of land controlled by Ranjit Singh along the Sutlej river.
Other key items coming up for auction include a large collection of rare and early Sikh books in English and Punjabi, mostly out of print and some dating back to the early 19th century.
An early watercolour of a Sikh Guru is also priced for £600 to £800.
A number of other historical documents and photographs relating to Punjab will also to go under the hammer.
Mullock’s specialises in the sale of rare documents and recently sold a collection of personal items belonging to Mahatma Gandhi, including his handwritten will, for an estimated £300,000 (around Rs 3 crore).