An incredible $17.4 million was paid for a sword that originally belonged to Tipu Sultan, a brave Muslim king of the Kingdom of Mysore in South India. The “Tiger of Mysore,” also known as Tipu Sultan, was renowned for his military prowess.
A number of weaponry were confiscated from Tipu Sultan’s palace following his loss at Seringapatam on May 4, 1799, according to the auction’s official website. One of these was the Bedchamber Sword, found in his own quarters.
Tipu Sultan became a martyr during the war with the East India Company, and the sword is said to have been looted. Later, it was given to British army officer Major General David Baird as a thank-you gift for his courage and behaviour during the attack on Tipu Sultan.
The sword, sometimes referred to as “The Sword of the Ruler,” is regarded as the best and most significant item in Tipu Sultan’s arsenal. The Mughal swordsmiths who made it were influenced by the German blades that were imported to India in the 16th century.
The hilt of the sword is exquisitely adorned with delicate gold calligraphy that depicts five attributes of God and two prayers addressed to Him specifically.
The exceptional history, provenance, and skill of the sword was highlighted by Nima Sagharchi, group head of Islamic and Indian Art at Bonhams. It was expected that there would be a fierce bidding war between those who bid over the phone and those who were there.
The CEO of Bonhams, Bruno Vinciguerra, acknowledged his happiness at reaching such a remarkable outcome for this exceptional item.
The auctioneer and Bonhams’ Head of Islamic and Indian Art, Oliver White, emphasized the sword’s unique significance. He said that it is the most outstanding Tipu Sultan-related weapon still in private hands.
The sword is a one-of-a-kind and highly sought-after object due to its close personal connection to Tipu Sultan, its perfect provenance from the day it was captured, and its exceptional craftsmanship.