Seven pieces of weaponry and art plundered from the palace of Tipu Sultan by British colonial forces were sold by a London auction house on Thursday for more than a million pounds to unnamed buyers.
Topping the items at the Sotheby’s sale was a sword from the armoury of Tipu’s palace in Seringapatam that was overrun by the colonial East India army in May, 1799.
Although it sold for £505,250 — ten times its pre-sale estimate — industrialist Vijay Mallya, the owner of Tipu’s personal sword, was unimpressed, saying he did not bother bidding for it because it has no special status and was not part of Tipu’s personal armoury.
“Tipu’s original and personal sword is owned by me and will never be sold,” Mallya said in a statement.
“The record-breaking results achieved are testament to the desirability of these works of art sold today,” said Edward Gibbs, Senior Director and Head of Sotheby’s Middle East and India department.