Auction Date: 26/11/2014 at 01pm
India – India the Sikhs by Alexander Burnes in French. Early book on India the Sikhs by Alexander Burnes in French 1840, 311 pages. A fascinating account of the Lahore Sikh court by Alexander Burnes published whilst Ranjit Singh was alive and well. Sir Alexander Burnes (1805-1841) British traveller explorer and writer was born on 16 May 1805. He joined the Bombay infantry in 1821. Upon his arrival in India he devoted himself to the study of the local languages and was while still an ensign selected for the post of regimental interpreter. In 1829 he was transferred to the political department as assistant to the Political Resident in Kutch. In 1831 he was sent on a complimentary mission to Lahore in charge of English horses including a team of carthorss, four mares and a stallion sent by the King of England as presents for Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The real object of Burnes’ mission was to survey the River Indus and assess the power and resources of the Amirs of Sindh then being threatened by the Maharaja. He submitted to his government a geographical and military memoir on Sindh which formed the basis of Lord William Bentinck’s Indus navigation scheme. He describes Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s habits and government his passion for horses his troops and horse artillery his dancing girls and the Koh-i-Noor diamond. In January 1832 Burnes visited Lahore again to solicit from the Maharaja facilities of travel through the Punjab to Afghanistan Central Asia and Baikh and Bokhara. A very rare copy of this great work.