Auction Date: 26/11/2014 at 01pm
India - early account of Ranjit Singh 1833 by Victor Jacquemont by Victor Jacquemont, in French. Original very early and rare 2 volumes – 388 and 374 pages including maps. Jacquemont travelled to India in 1828 and remained there for the rest of his life. While he was there he met Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore in 1831. Jacquemont provides a fascinating account of the royal Sikh Durbar the Sikhs Akalisetc: [trans.] ‘...the Akalis or immortals are properly speaking Sikh fakirs. The sacred pool at Amritsar is their headquarters but they often spread themselves over the Punjab in large and formidable parties. Ranjit wisely turns their ferocity to his own advantage. He enlists them in his armies and employs them preferably against Mussalman enemies. He has at the moment 4000-5000 of them in the army which he maintains at Attock ready to march against another fanatic Syed. I have only seen two of them in the streets of Amritsar it was evening and the matches of their muskets hung ready lighted. I had never seen more sinister looking figures.’ He describes Ranjit Singh: ‘His right eye which remains is very large his nose is fine and slightly turned up his mouth firm his teeth excellent. He wears a slight moustache which he twists incessantly with his fingers and a long thin beard which falls to his chest. His expression shows nobility of thought shrewdness and penetration and these indications are correct.’ A rare and early important account of the Sikh Kingdom in the life time of the great Ranjit Singh just published 4 years before his death.