Tipu Sultan's majestic sword has fetched a record price of £5,05,250 at an auction at Sotheby's, 10 times its estimated price.
The sword was estimated to fetch £50,000 to £70,000. In 2003, the more than 200-year-old sword was bought with much fanfare by liquor baron Vijay Mallya. Sotheby's described the item as: “A very rare sword with tiger-form hilt, from the Palace Armoury of Tipu Sultan, India, circa 1782-99, with 19th Century silver-mounted scabbard.”
It said there was a very small number of sword hilts such as Tipu Sultan's auctioned sword that have a pronounced tiger theme that was a mark of his ownership.
Another highlight of the auction was a rare Indian bronze cannon cast at the Mysore King's royal foundry. This artefact from around 1790 AD was bought by an anonymous buyer at £3,13,250.
The Tipu Sultan collection, comprising seven lots, included weaponry and other rarities captured after the British stormed the erstwhile ruler of Mysore's palace in Srirangapatnam in May 1799. An applique and gilt metal thread-embroidered shamiana, from the cloth of gold suite used by Tipu Sultan in the royal toshkhana, which was estimated to sell for £30,000 to £40,000, went for £21,250.
Keywords: Tipu Sultan's sword auction