In April 1699, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, baptised five of his followers to create a sacred brotherhood called the Khalsa or "the pure ones". Almost overnight, the Sikh people were transformed into nobility, men taking the name "Singh", meaning lion, and women the name "Kaur", or princess. Among the prescribed symbols for initiates were uncut hair and, for the men, the wearing of turbans which have instantly identified them as Sikhs ever since. The V&A marked the 300th anniversary of this pivotal historic event with an exhibition and book showing the artistic heritage of the Sikhs. Some of the finest pieces from the Treasury of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who ruled from 1801 to 1839, and who expanded Sikh rule in North India, will be illustrated. Ranjit Singh, one of the most colourful figures in Sikh history, was also a significant patron and collector. He commissioned the famous golden throne (now in the V&A) and acquired historic Mughal artefacts and gemstones many of which have never previously been published. Throughout, the illustrations cover the full richness of Sikh arts, from jewellery, gemstones and sumptuous textiles to intricately wrought weapons and armour, to paintings and contemporary photographs, providing a comprehensive picture of Sikh art and culture. The religion of the Sikhs is also explained through paintings, calligraphy and the arts of the book.
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Susan Stronge is a curator in the Indian and South-East Asian Department at the V&A, and has written prolifically about the jewellery and other decorative arts of northern India from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
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Book Description V & A Publications, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111851772626
Book Description V & A Publications. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 1851772626 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.2158121