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Sotheby’s cancels Sikh armour sale

The auction house withdraws the 18th century body armour after protests from Sikhs in London, reports V Dutt.
Hindustan Times | By Vijay Dutt, London
UPDATED ON APR 08, 2008 03:22 AM IST

Auction of the Sikh armour at Sotheby’s, which had created controversy among the Sikh community, stands cancelled. The cancellation was announced after the consigner’s request.

“Sotheby’s announced today that lot 269, A Rare Sikh Steel Armour Plate, North West India/Pakistan, 18th Century (estimated at £10-12,000), has been withdrawn at the consignor's instruction. Sotheby’s has been asked by the consignor to arrange the acquisition of the lot by a suitable member of the Sikh community.

The armour was scheduled to be offered in the forthcoming Arts of the Islamic World sale in London on Wednesday, April 9,” a press note stated.

The consigner, whose identity is not known, did not appreciate the uproar that the armour had caused within the Sikh community and the media, and has asked Sotheby’s to solicit the interest of suitable members from within the Sikh community. Sotheby's, after withdrawing the armour from the auction, will now hold a private sale.

The auctioneers, however, stressed again that the armour was not that of Guru Gobind Singh, as suspected by some Sikh groups. The Indian government too, had asked the High Commission to inquire about its origin, and the finding was that it did not belong to the Guru.

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