Tipu Sultan’s fabled sword was found in the private bedchamber as it has now broken all auction records for an Indian object for Bonhams in London by fetching over GBP 14 million at its Islamic and Indian Art sale this week. The sword from Tipu Sultan’s reign between 1782 and 1799, is described as a fine gold koftgari hilted steel sword referred to as sukhela, which is an emblem of authority.
The sword was found in the private apartments of Tipu Sultan and the Army of the East India Company presented it to Major General David Baird as a “token of their high esteem of his courage and conduct in the assault” which resulted in the killing of Tipu Sultan.
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Tipu Sultan’s Sword Created New Auction Record in UK with GBP 14 million: Key Points
- The spectacular sword of Tipu Sultan is the greatest of all the weapons linked to him still in private hands, according to the statement of Oliver White, Bonhams’ Head of Islamic and Indian Art and auctioneer.
- He also remarked that it is a close personal association with the Sultan which is impeccable provenance traceable to the very day it was captured, and the outstanding craftsmanship that went into its manufacture make it unique and highly desirable.
- The sword had a guide price between GBP 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 but it went on to surpass that estimate to fetch GBP 14,080,900.
- Nima Sagharchi, Group Head of Islamic and Indian Art informed that the sword has an extraordinary history, astonishing provenance, and unrivaled craftsmanship. It was no surprise it was so hotly contested between two phone bidders and a bidder in the room.
- The Historians claim that many weapons were removed from the palace of Tipu Sultan after his death which led to the fall of his rule in Seringapatam in May 1799.
- Bruno Vinciguerra, CEO of Bonhams informed that it is one of the most astonishing objects Bonhams has had the privilege of bringing to auction. It is a stupendous price for a stupendous piece.
- Manufactured by Mughal swordsmiths following the model of German blades introduced to India in the 16th century, the sword itself is of “exceptional” quality, with the blade inscribed “The Sword of the Ruler”.
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