Khan of Kalat Silver Presentation Cigarette
Attractive solid silver art deco presentation cigarette case from Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Ahmadzai Baloch, the Khan of Kalat who reigned between 1933-1955. The case is clearly hallmarked by J. Gloster Ltd of Birmingham, with the date letter J for 1933.
Less than a century ago, the Khanate of Kalat was a thriving confederacy of tribes spread across much of what is now western Pakistan, southern Afghanistan and south-eastern Iran.
Populated by fiercely independent Baluch warriors, Kalat retained much of its independence from the British as the Raj's political agents spread throughout the sub-continent, toppling, bribing and replacing its regional leaders as they went.
Regarded as too wild to tame but a useful buffer against Russians, the Baluch were allowed to keep their sovereignty. Although successive treaties chipped away at their territory, the Khans of Kalat remained the region's most powerful independent rulers.
As the Partition of India loomed, Khan Suleman's grandfather the current claimant to the throne who lives in South Wales, Ahmad Yar Khan, was assured that the Baluch would be allowed to keep their independence. A deal was struck whereby Kalat and the new state of Pakistan would be independent of each other but would share currency, foreign policy and defence equally.
Yet, after just six months of independence, the Pakistani military stormed in and forced Ahmed Yar Khan to cede his khanate to Pakistan. Forgotten by the West, Baluchi separatists have since fought five insurgencies to try to claw back their independence from Pakistan's central government, which has responded with massacres, large scale disappearances and torture.
"From H.H. The Khan of Kalat"
Size: 9 c 8.5 cm approx