|Tipu Sultan's silver-mounted gun Indiatimes.com|
|Tipu Sultan's silver-mounted gun. Gulf News|
|Tipu Sultan of Mysore Deccan Herald|
Recently in London at an auction a rare collection of artifacts once owned by Tipu Sultan of Mysore got the special attention and, surprisingly, they fetched far better offer than expected by the auction company. The highlight among the lot is a silver-mounted 20-bore flintlock gun and bayonet from the personal armory of Tipu. Being popular and rare, it attracted 14 bids before going under the hammer for 60,000 pounds. Unlike other Tipu Sultan guns, this one shows clear signs of having been badly damaged in its past and, it is obvious, it was taken directly from the rack after the fall of Seringapatam (Srirangapatnam). It appears to have been collected from the battlefield, the lot description notes.
|Tipu Sultan's silver-mounted gun. economictimes.indiatimes.com|
The auction was conducted by Berkshire-based Antony Cribb Ltd auctioneers, who specialize in antique arms and armory related sales. When the company announced the accidental discovery of rare Tipu's artifacts and their scheduled auctions, many Europeans and also Indians from the Indian subcontinent showed keen interest to possess them.
The India Pride Project, a worldwide volunteer network set up to track “India’s stolen heritage”, took keen interest in this auction and requested the auctioneer to voluntarily restore the items to India. Besides, the Indian High Commission in London was informed of the rare artifacts from India to be auctioned. The good news is, according to Antony Cribb of the auction house,
“The family is not motivated by money and sincerely hope these items find their way back to India, maybe to a museum, for future generations to have access to it”. Further, it is revealed that the
beneficiary family was keen to make a sizable donation to a school in India from the money generated from the auction.