Indian emerald from Tipu Sultan's treasury to go on auction

Indian emerald from Tipu Sultan's treasury to go on auction

Indian emerald from Tipu Sultan's treasury to go on auction

The pendant, estimated at between 80,000 and 120,000 pounds, is among the star lots in the sale of the contents of the peer and traveller Lord Glenconner's St Lucian home at Bonhams in London on September 28.

The gold pendant is set with a 38 carat emerald surrounded by nine precious stones including topaz, blue sapphire, ruby, diamond and pearl.

It is one of the very few pieces of jewellery from the fabulous treasury of the 'Tiger of Mysore' to have survived in its original setting.

Tipu Sultan, who ruled Mysore in the late 18th century, is known for his stoic and ferocious opposition to the extension of British rule.

"I would rather live a day as a tiger than a lifetime as a sheep," he is once known to have said.

Tipu's Treasury – which was stuffed with jewels, gold arms and fine cloth - was dispersed after his eventual defeat and death in the siege of Srirangapatnam in 1799.

The British victory was followed by extensive looting as well as a more orderly division of the spoils and the pendant ended up in the possession of a Major named General Harris who brought it to England.

Other major items in the Glenconner sale include a rare 18th century South Indian carved emerald figurine estimated at 40,000-60,000 pounds, a late Mughal inscribed emerald bearing the name of Prasanna Coomar Tago from 1826 estimated at 25,000-35,000 pounds and an impressive North Indian 19th century silver sheet-covered wood tester bed estimated at 15,000-20,000 pounds.

The 3rd Lord Glenconner, formerly Colin Tennant, was known for transforming the barren Caribbean island of Mustique into a luxurious playground for the rich and the famous. From Mustique, Lord Glenconner moved to St Lucia in early 1990s.

The sale includes a wonderful selection of Caribbean and Anglo Indian furniture, Islamic and Indian art, Chinese ceramics, silver, works of art, jewellery, pictures, among others.

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