A Sikh Chakram (Quoit)
Place of Origin: Lahore
Date: 19th Century
Overall: 272mm (10.7 inches)
Status: Not Available
With a blued steel body of rounded form with a gilt inner edge and sharpened outside edge. It is decorated identically on both sides with gold koftgari cartouches filled with scrolling tendrils and a central flower head, all within a double line border.
Ultimately, the Sikh chakram is an object of war, designed to be thrown at the enemy, whether gripped between the thumb and index finger and thrown like a frisbee, or twirled on the index finger and launched at speed. It is an ancient Indian weapon but popularised by the Sikhs, particularly the Nihangs, members of the warrior branch of the Sikh faith, (the word is from the Persian, meaning crocodile, signifying ferociousness). An assemblage in the V&A museum demonstrates how an Akali Nihang would have worn them stacked on a tall turban. An Akali Nihang is a high-ranking warrior, the word Akali derived from Akaal, the timeless one, in reference to God.
Due to the lavish decoration on the example shown here, it was probably made for someone of status and wealth and designed to be worn on the turban, or around the neck, like the V&A example.
A similar example was offered at Sotheby’s, London in 2008.
Mounted on a custom-made stand.