Cigar Stand thumbnail 1
Cigar Stand thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Cigar Stand

19th century (made)

This ornamental cigar-holder was made in Sialkot, Punjab, probably specifically to be sent to the great Exposition Universelle (Universal Exhibition) held in Paris in 1867. The cities of Sialkot and Gujrat, on opposite sides of the river Chenab and now in India and Pakistan respectively, were traditional centres for the ornamentation of steel weapons with gold and silver overlay (kuftkari). The British banned the manufacture of weapons unless made under license after their 1849 annexation of the Sikh kingdom of Punjab, and artisans who traditionally made and embellished guns, swords and daggers had to find new markets. They began to produce wares specifically for Europeans, including cigar holders. This example was bought by the South Kensington Museum, later renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, directly from the Paris exhibition.


object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
Domestic, steel gold, kuftkari,Sialkot , c. 1850-60
Dimensions
  • Height: 29cm
  • Diameter: 17cm
Object history
Bought from the 1876 Paris Exhibition as 'Modern Indian (Kuffgoorie [sic])' for £28. The catalogue misidentifies the technique (kuftkari) as the place of origin.
Summary
This ornamental cigar-holder was made in Sialkot, Punjab, probably specifically to be sent to the great Exposition Universelle (Universal Exhibition) held in Paris in 1867. The cities of Sialkot and Gujrat, on opposite sides of the river Chenab and now in India and Pakistan respectively, were traditional centres for the ornamentation of steel weapons with gold and silver overlay (kuftkari). The British banned the manufacture of weapons unless made under license after their 1849 annexation of the Sikh kingdom of Punjab, and artisans who traditionally made and embellished guns, swords and daggers had to find new markets. They began to produce wares specifically for Europeans, including cigar holders. This example was bought by the South Kensington Museum, later renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum, directly from the Paris exhibition.
Collection
Accession Number
780-1869

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record createdJune 25, 2009
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