Condition:not for sale

Sitar in surbahar style, late 19th century

About 3 years ago I came across this spectaular sitar, it was sold to Cite de la Musique in Paris.

This extrodinary sitar in surbahar style is at least 110 years old. 

Originating at the end of the 19th century, unfortunately the maker is unknown. One notices the old style frets with gut string and beautiful taraf pegs with inlay and precious stones. The condition of the polish is excellent. 

I suspect that the bridge and some of the main tuning pegs are of a later date.

The history of the instrument is that it belonged to the King of Afganisthan who was at that time living in exile in Italy. He loved Indian music and after a concert from Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Munir Khan and Ustad Zamir Khan, he presented the sitar as a present. It was taken to Amsterdam and ended up in Zamir Khan's collection.

The photos that were made (not all in focus I'm afraid), were taken as it was found. I did not alter , renovate or even take off the broken strings. I saw the potential of the instrument for becoming a museum piece and left it in it's original condition. Therefore, unfortunately, I could not hear it played.