Stunning Pieces from Tipu Sultan armoury: India TodayA silver-mounted flintlock sporting gun from the personal armoury of the "Tiger of Mysore" on which Vijay Mallya spent Â£120,000. This is from the largest-ever collection of Tipu Sultan memorabilia on offer at Sotheby's in London. The list of items on offer included exquisitely carved quivers, field cannons, a gem-encrusted trophy sword and flintlock pistols, which sold for over Â£1.2 million (Rs 9.5 crore).
Tipu Sultan's treasures have a great historic value. The "Tiger of Mysore" (1782-99) is one of the greatest heroes of Indian history and was described by Mahatma Gandhi as "an embodiment of Hindu-Muslim unity". Tipu led a heroic and ultimately doomed struggle against the British and met a glorious death.
After the siege his palace was ransacked by the British, and much of the booty captured by General Baird and Colonel Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke ofWellington) was presented to "Mad King George", George III, and ended up in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. Many individual pieces, however, were distributed among the British officers who led the campaign, and were passed down through generations. They were subsequently acquired for the Tipu Sultan Collection.