Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Tipu Sultan's pesonal items to be auctioned at the Bonhams ,April 2015


A tiger's head from the golden throne of Tipu Sultan (1750-99). www.telegraph.co.uk
Considered as one  of the greatest  18th century rulers of Indian history, Tipu Sultan's aggressive and  unruly opposition to the extension of British rule was quite well known. He was born in 1750 in Devanhalli (now in Karnataka)  to Haider Ali and his second wife Fatima. It was in  1782, Tipu became the Sultan of Mysore after his father.
Tipu Sultan(20 November 1750 - 4 May 1799), as discussed in some earlier articles, stood in the way when the British wanted to take over  certain unconquered southern  parts of India, because he was brave and despised the oppressive British rulers. Tipu  Sultan once said: "I would rather live a day as a tiger than a lifetime as a sheep". Only at the fourth Angelo-Mysore battle in April-May 1799, in conspiracy with some traitors in the Mysore kingdom, the British finished him.  His saga of courage and war exploits came to an end on the 4th of May, 1799 at the age of 48. He earned the nick

Tipu Sultan - The Tiger Of Mysorewww.hearty-india.com

name '' Tiger of Mysore'' not only for his innate ability to fight like a big cat in the battlefields, but also his obsession with tiger. Tipu's personal motif was the tiger  and  he adopted the royal tiger as his personal emblem. His throne, ornamentation in his palace, his  personal arms, armor, soldiers uniform, work of art  etc., carried the tiger emblem. The writing paper he used had tiger-strip or bubri  motif as the watermark.  The big cat gave him inspiration in every aspect to fight the tricky lion landed from England. Though the mighty lion with the brain of a fox was at last victorious, the Indian Bengal tiger stood the ground  and took the hell our of them and the British literally had nightmares before the battles because Tipu's locally designed powerful rockets/ missiles were really scary and devastating.

 Tipu's coffers  were full of valuable items - gold jewels, gold arms and fine cloth worth tens of crores of rupees. Soon after his death on the battlefield  in 1799, the British removed his famous sword and the heavy gold ring inscribed in Devnagri RAM worn by him. The latter became the personal property of Lord Wellesley. Besides, the British, during the siege of Srirangapatna  extensively looted Tipu's personal collections, etc. They emptied his treasury before taking up another task to subdue the Maratha Peshwas.

It is indeed a rare coincidence that  just like the way every part of tiger is used for medicine in countries like China, every personal item  fire arm, cloth, etc worn and used by Tipu was collected by the British  and was put up for auction by the Bonhams 
under the title ‘Bonhams Islamic and Indian Art Sale’. The vast array of items with tiger-strips or image of the head of the tiger displayed in the auction  surprised the visitors. It also included a rare gem-set sword with tiger's head pommel from Tipu Sultan's royal regalia. The business minded British, especially the decedents

The British Lion is shown as overcoming Tipu's tiger.  www.columbia.edu
Tipu Sultan's sword handle- tige image.www.mangalorean.com
of lords, etc (who served in colonial India) know how to tide over their financial  difficulties by putting up the hoards (loot) of stuff stolen from India by their great forefathers centuries ago.

No details are available on the ownership of the auction items. However, it is one large collection and each item was a work of art and had superb workmanship. Some of the items displayed in the auction house included the foll:

Embroidered quivers, gem set trophy swords, beautiful quilted helmets, blunderbuss, three pounder bronze cannon, sporting guns and pistols, fowling piece, etc.
 

The scheduled auction date is come April 21. Who is going to be the lucky owner or owners, and how much dough the British aristocrat(s) will get, no body can make a guess. It is said the auction might fetch several million pounds!!Till such a time, curious people can keep their fingers crossed!!

Tiger's head pommel from the Royal Regalia of Tipu Sultanrediff.com

Tipu Sultan. silver-mounted Flintlock pistols/www.rediff.com

Tipu's fire power. Bonhams Auction of Tipu Sultans WeaponryLuxpresso.com
Ref:

''Tipu Sultan's arms and armor to be auctioned''- The Hindu of March 13, 2015. 
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tipu-sultans-arms-and-armour-to-be-auctioned/article6987175.