Christie's to auction rare portrait of Guru Harkrishan

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Patiala Mar 31 (UNI) Close on the heels of Sotheby's proposed auction of Sikh Guru Gobind Singh's armour, another prestigious London auction house, the Christie's plans to put a rare early portrait of the child-Guru Harkrishan under hammer on April 11 in London.

The 19th century drawing of Guru Harkrishan, with ink and pencil on paper, highlighted with colour, shows the young red-turbaned Guru kneeling on a throne.

The auction of the 14.5 cm wide and 11 cm high painting, glazed mounted and framed, will be done under ''Islamic works of Art and Textiles'' at South Kensington. The minimum action bid was estimated between 400 and 600 pounds.

Describing the drawing on its sale board, the Christie's stresses that depictions of Guru Harkishan are rare.

Succeeding his father Guru Har Rai on October 6, 1661 at a tender age of five years, Guru Harkishan was known as the Child Guru.

Two years later, on a trip to Delhi, the young Guru found himself in the middle of a smallpox epidemic and chose to stay back near the Bangla Sahib lake, to help the afflicted. But by exposing himself to his devotees, he too succumbed to smallpox at the age of seven years.

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib, originally the palace of his strong devotee Raja Jai Singh, was constructed in his memory.

The Sotheby's proposed auction of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh's armour plate on April 9, has drawn flak from his followers.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committe, in a resolution has condemed the proposed auction and sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to stop the auction and bring back the Sikh relic.

UNI XC JN Mir BD1950

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