London, March 27: The highlight lot, a silver-mounted 20-bore flintlock gun and bayonet from the personal armoury of the last ruler of Mysore, proved hugely popular as it attracted 14 bids before going under the hammer for 60,000 pounds.
A collection of rare artefacts from Tipu Sultan’s armoury, including one of his personal swords, discovered by a couple in their attic in the English county of Berkshire has been auctioned for around 107,000 pounds.
The highlight lot, a silver-mounted 20-bore flintlock gun and bayonet from the personal armoury of the last ruler of Mysore, proved hugely popular as it attracted 14 bids before going under the hammer for 60,000 pounds.
“Unlike other Tipu Sultan guns this one exhibits clear signs of having been badly damaged in its past…rather than being taken directly from the rack after the fall of Seringapatam it appears to have been collected from the battlefield,” the lot description notes.
The other highlight lot, a gold-encrusted sword and suspension belt ensemble believed to be one of Tipu Sultan’s personal swords, attracted as many as 58 bids before being sold to the winning bidder for 18,500 pounds.
The two centrepieces formed part of a collection of eight items brought back by Major Thomas Hart of the East India Company after the Tiger of Mysore’s defeat at Seringapatam in 1799. Tipu died in 1799 at the age of 48.
Alongside the arms, an intricately designed Betel Nut Casket (17,500 pounds) and a Gold East India Company Seal ring (2,800 pounds) belonging to Major Hart, believed to have passed down generations before landing in the hands of the current owners, were among the other big sellers of Tuesday’s sale.
PM Modi announces India’s arrival as space super power
Berkshire-based Antony Cribb Ltd auctioneers, who specialise in arms and armoury related sales, had announced the auction following the “exciting discovery” earlier this year and said that majority of the buyer interest had come from Indians based in India.
The Indian High Commission in London was made aware of the artefacts by the India Pride Project, a worldwide volunteer network set up to track “India’s stolen heritage”, and attempted to convince the auction house to consider voluntarily restoring the items to India.