Tipu sword makes the Rs 3.4-cr cut

Old is gold

Tipu sword makes the Rs 3.4-cr cut

The Tipu Sultan collection, comprised of seven lots, included weaponry and other rarities captured after the British stormed his palace in Srirangapatnam in Mysore in May 1799.
The sword was estimated to fetch 50,000 to 70,000 pounds at an auction as part of Sotheby's bi-annual Arts of the Islamic World Sale here.

Earlier reports had said the sword, which went under the hammer, was the one bought by Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya in 2003.However, a statement from the UB group, owned by Mallya, said he has not sold his sword.

"Tippu's original and personal sword is owned by me and will never be sold," the statement quoted Mallya as saying.

The sword, which went under the hammer, and scabbard with Tiger-Form Hilt, from the Palace Armoury of Tipu Sultan, along with a bronze cannon, was the highlight of the Tipu Sultan collection.

The sword, formerly in the collection of Viscount Strathallan, had been estimated to sell for 50,000 pounds to 70,000 pounds but it was sold for almost ten times the price.
The extremely rare Indian bronze cannon, cast by Ahmad Pali at the royal foundry at Srirangapatnam for Tipu Sultan, was sold for 313,250 pounds.

The cannon, which was formerly the property of a British think-tank, the Royal United Services Institute, was estimated to sell for 120,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds.
An applique and gilt metal-thread embroidered shamiana, from the cloth of gold suite of fabric used by Tipu Sultan in the Royal Toshkhana, which was estimated to sell for 30,000 pounds to 40,000 pounds went for 21,250 pounds.

According to the auction house, there are a very small number of sword hilts, such as the one auctioned, which have a pronounced tiger theme that was a mark of Tipu's ownership.

The auction fetched 15.4 million pounds, compared to the 1.2 million pounds earned at the first part of the Tipu Sultan auction in 2005.

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