A collection of 24 paintings depicting the famous battle of Pollilur at which British army surrendered to Mysore warrior Tipu Sultan and his father Haider Ali sold today for a whopping USD 1,224,184 at a leading auctioner Sotheyby.
Depicting Tipu's victory over the British army at the battle of Pollilur in 1780 the East India Company army suffered a high number of casualties, representing one of the worst defeats suffered on the subcontinent. The 24 paintings fetched 769,250 pounds (USD 1,224,184) at Sotheby.
While British lost this particular battle, they went on to defeat Tipu Sultan at the battle of Seringapatam on May 4, 1799 the final confrontation of the fourth Anglo-Mysore war between the East India Company and the Kingdom of Mysore.
Senior Director and the Head of Sotheby's Middle East Department on the sale said: "Tipu Sultan was an extraordinary individual and an Indian national hero.
These paintings record his finest hour when he defeated the British in the field of battle in 1780. The price achieved for this group of exceptional pictorial accounts of the Battle of Pollilur is true confirmation of their historical importance and rarity".
The paintings were acquired by Captain John William Freese in approximately 1802. Freese was a member of the Madras Artillery and played an important role in the siege of Seringapatam in 1799. He was appointed by General Stuart as Commissary of Stores at Seringapatam in 1802.