SMI 8: Guru Nanak Avatars Sword
Date: C. 1820-1840.
Original Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Present Location: Sukhbinder Singh Paul Family Collection, UK.
Nineteenth Century (Circa 1840-1850) Sword from Lahore featuring the Avatars of the Hindu deity-Vishnu and a cartouche panel of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Complete with its green velvet scabbard (mian).
Constructed of Wootz iron and decorated in gold Koftgari borders. The tendril design on the hilt is a typical Sikh feature often found on Bazu Bands (arm guards) and helmets of the Sikh Raj period. Deeply chiselled in high relief this Darbar or ceremonial sword is finely crafted and may possibly be a one-off commission to a high-ranking Sikh of the Court of Lahore.
Guru Nanak is the first of Ten Guru’s in the religion of the Sikhs, however, due to his universal appeal he was considered a deity in other faiths including the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
Apart from depictions of Guru Nanak on depicted on arms and armour from the eighteenth century. Images of Guru Nanak also appear in manuscripts and frescoes.
The depiction of Guru Nanak is extremely rare and is one of several in existence. One being in the Royal Collection Trust, other in the Wallace Collection and the other held in the Golden Temple Museum, Amritsar.