British Stole and Auctioned Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Kalgi For 10 Pounds

It was established that on 20th June 1898, Mr W.H. Broun, son-in-law of Lord Dalhousie, loaned the Kalgi and a number of other items to the Victoria and Albert Museum, known then as the South Kensington Museum.

The Kalgi, along with other items, were returned to Mr W.H. Brown on 12th October 1898. Unfortunately the trail runs cold from 1898 and inspite of many efforts, no individual has been able to shed any further light.

The NSHC -HM and SCYS research team have gained access to some private papers amongst which is a personal list penned by Lord Dalhousie himself which details over 70 items taken by Lord Dalhousie from the Lahore Toshakana and sent to his home in Scotland. The list clearly states that not only was the Kalgi taken but it clearly states and describes which sword of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was sent to the East India Company Museum. Further more there is now clarity about exactly which shasters of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji are missing. The research team have also seen evidence of the sword of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji being received by the Company’s Museum in London in February 1853 along with the Golden Chair of Maharajah Ranjit Singh.


It can now be categorically stated that the Kalgi taken from the Lahore Toshakana by Lord Dalhousie was in fact sold at an auction in the UK in 1898. The research team can also reveal that the Kalgi was sold for 10 pounds and 10 shillings (in old British currency which in today’s money would be about £600.00). Though it has not been possible to identify the buyer of the Kalgi, there is now for the first time a real possibility of following this trail.

Manraj Singh Khela, Director of Strategic Development and Research at the National Sikh Heritage Centre and Holocaust Museum said, “this is an amazing find by the research team.

Many people have tried to locate the Kalgi and there have been many postulations made but without being substantiated with evidence. What we have uncovered is categorical evidence that shows who possessed the Kalgi, that it was sold in an auction, when and where this auction took place. We also have possible leads on who bought it.

We will pursue all leads and using every resource at our disposal. This is certainly one of the most important finds in Sikh heritage. We will ensure that all our findings are available to the Panth over the next few months who will be able to come and look at all our research at the National Sikh Heritage Centre and Holocaust Museum in Derby. We encourage all other researchers and committees to do the same.

Article Originally Published By Panthic News in 2009

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