Thursday, 28 March 2019

Tipu Sultan's silver-mounted flintlock gun recently came up for auction in England!!

Tipu Sultan's silver-mounted gun Indiatimes.com


Tipu Sultan's silver-mounted gun. Gulf News
There is a wise saying in Tamil, a native language of Tamil Nadu, ''Aanai eruinthalum aayeeram pon, yeranthalum aayeram pon'' meaning  'if an elephant is alive it is worth  1000 gold coins, and even if it is dead it is worth  1000 gold coins'. This is quite true of the great Indian warrior Tipu Sultan  who terrorized the British till his death  in the battle field after a valiant fight. Tipu's personal items - scores of artifacts, rare sword, guns, jewelry etc, looted by the then East India company's high officials, after centuries later,
Tipu Sultan of Mysore Deccan Herald
are financially quite helpful to their  descendants. In this  respect,  a section of the British aristocrats  should be grateful to the Sultan because his personal collections that carry huge antique value, have  helped them tide over their financial difficulties. The recent auction on Tipu's personal items in England  is a different one. The beneficiary  wanted to  donate the amount generated from the auction
to a school in India. It is indeed a good gesture on the part of the British family  whose magnanimity has won the heart of a large section of Indians!!

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 other attraction being a gold-encrusted sword and suspension belt ensemble believed to be one of Tipu Sultan’s personal swords. This one got as many as 58 bids  and finally went to the successful bidder who paid  18,500 pounds for this rare historical item. The rare artifacts  were accidentally discovered in their attic by a couple in the  English county of Berkshire. Apparently, they had been lying there wrapped-up for a pretty long time  and they were auctioned for  around 107,000 pounds. They  formed part of a collection of eight items brought back by Major Thomas Hart of the East India Company after the  death of Tipu Sultan in 1799 at the age of 48.  It was the last Angelo-Mysore war led by Wellesley who  remained Governor General of Fort Williams from 1798 to 1805.  The British captured the capital of Mysore and took indirect control of Mysore,

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.
 https://greaterjammu.com/tipu-sultans-silver-mounted-gun-fetches-rs-54-lakh-at-uk-auction/
 https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/tipu-sultans-20-bore-flintlock-gun-and-bayonet-fetch-60000-at-uk-auction/articleshow/68596489.cms?from=mdr
https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/tipu-sultans-silver-mounted-gun-fetches-60000-at-uk-auction/article26651076.ece