Bonhams Islamic and Indian Sale Tops Estimates

A spectacular collection of arms and armour once owned by Tipu Sultan, the last King of Mysore, was sold at Bonhams Islamic and Indian art sale for a total of more than £6million.

Tipu’s personal motif was the tiger, and he adorned both objects of art and instruments of war with images of the animal and with the tiger-stripe design, earning the nickname, ‘Tiger of Mysore’.

The Tiger of Mysore – who famously declared ‘I would rather live one day as a tiger than a lifetime as a sheep’ – was the East India Company’s most tenacious enemy, fighting them until his death in 1799. He was a fanatical and relentless warrior, and vowed not to sit on his elaborate throne until he had vanquished the British.

The top lot in the sale was a rare gem-set sword with tiger’s head pommel from Tipu Sultan’s royal regalia. Estimated at £60,000-80,000 it was eventually sold for a staggering £2,154,500.

The Islamic and Indian sale as a whole achieved £7.4 million.

 

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