An auction house in London sold the precious sword of Tipu Sultan for a whopping £14 million ($17.4 million).
The sword was one of the many things seized from the palace in India when the state of Tipu Sultan fell against British Raj in 1799.
Bonhams, the auction house described the sword as a weapon adorned with calligraphy.
“The weapon’s handle is decorated with gold calligraphy, with five of the qualities of God and two invocations calling on God by name,” read the statement from Bonhams.
Tipu Sultan’s sword was made by a Mughal swordsmith following the model of German blades introduced to India in the 16th century. The Persian inscription on the sword reads, “The sword of the ruler”.
“This spectacular sword is the greatest of all the weapons linked to Tipu Sultan still in private hands,” says Bonham’s CEO Bruno Vinciguerra regarding the auction of the sword.
Sword of Tipu Sultan becomes the most expensive sword in history, it was sold for 14 Million Pounds (Apx 5 Billion Pakistani Rupees) at an auction in London. Private auction company was expecting £2 Million, the sword was one of a number of weapons taken from Tipu Sultan’s palace… pic.twitter.com/uL1IbMfH3I
— Farid Ahmed (Qureshi) (@FaridQureshi_UK) June 1, 2023
“Its close personal association with the Sultan, its 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,” he added
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The auction price was fetched seven times before the sword was sold off. According to the auction house, this auction had broken records for an Indian and Islamic objection sold in the auction.
“The sword has an extraordinary history, an astonishing provenance, and unrivaled craftsmanship,” says Group Head of Islamic and Indian Art Nima Sagharchi.
“It was no surprise it was so hotly contested between two phone bidders and a bidder in the room. We are delighted with the result,” he added further.
The Indian Muslim ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, was also referred to as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’ for his bravery and leading his army to victory in battles.
Tipu Sultan was later killed and his sword was presented to British Major General David Baird as a gift.