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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Tipu Sultan's ring sells for £145,000 in UK

PTI  London, May 23, 2014
First Published: 16:34 IST(23/5/2014) | Last Updated: 16:36 IST(23/5/2014)

A unique golden ring belonging to Mysore's 18th Century legendary ruler Tipu Sultan has been sold for a whopping £145,000 at an auction in London, 10 times more than its estimated price.

Auction house Christie's said the 41.2 gramme ring was sold to an undisclosed bidder at the auction in central London amid criticism from heritage groups.

The jewelled ring is inscribed with the name of Hindu God Ram in raised Devanagri script.

The ring was allegedly taken from the slain body of Tipu Sultan at the end of the 1799 Srirangappattinam battle against the British East India Company's forces.

"It is surprising that a ring bearing the name of a Hindu God would have been worn by the great Muslim warrior," the auction listing noted.

Earlier this month, professor S Settar from India's National Institute of Advanced Studies had warned that the ring might be hidden from public view if it was sold to a private bidder, the report said.

Settar urged the Indian government to "make use of all available avenues, legal and diplomatic, to recover the ring".

He even suggested that Indian philanthropists should have been encouraged to purchase the ring on behalf of the country.

Another group called Tipu Sultan United Front also urged the government to prevent the ring from being sold.

The ring was previously listed for sale by Christie's two years ago but was then withdrawn.

Known as the Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan ruled the state for 17 years after succeeding his father, Hyder Ali.


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