This week, a legendary 18th-century Indian sword was auctioned in London for £14,080,900, which is R$87.3 million at current exchange rates. This is the highest price ever paid for any Islamic item from India in history.
According to the auction house Bonhams, responsible for the sale, the sword belonged to Fate Ali Tipu, known as Tipu Sultan, and was found in his quarters after the battle that collapsed his royal fortress in 1799, at Seringapatam, India.
Although the estimated value for the artifact was between £1.5 million and £2 million (between R$9 and R$12 million), the object exceeded its maximum value seven times, after attracting the interest of three bidders.
On a announcement Delivered ahead of the session, Oliver White, head of Indian and Islamic art at Bonhams, said the sword was the greatest of all weapons associated with Tippoo Sultan, one of India’s best-known leaders against British rule.
“Her close personal association with the Sultan, her impeccable provenance traceable to the day she was captured, and the superb craftsmanship that went into her manufacture make her unique and highly desirable,” said White.
According to Bonhams, when the famous sultan’s reign was defeated by the British in the 18th century, many weapons were taken from the palace. Few, however, have as much impact or as close a bond with the ruler as the sword just put up for auction.
Documents by Scottish physician Francis Buchanan, who lived in India, report that she was within reach of the sultan as he slept in a hammock suspended from the ceiling of his room, on constant alert for attack. In addition to the sword, the ruler also had two pistols for her protection.
On the particularly thin blade of the item sold by Bonhams, there is an inscription that reads “The Sword of the Ruler”. On the hilt is engraved a gold inscription describing five divine qualities and bears two invocations that call God by name.
Also according to the auction house’s description of the sword, it was presented to Major General David Baird, by the Seringapatam Army, “in token of high esteem for his bravery and conduct in the war he commanded and in the which Sultan Tipu was killed.
Bonhams has not released the identity of the purchaser of the precious object.
World Record Price of Indian Sultan Sword Auctioned For The First Time Appeared On Olhar Digital.
Source: Olhar Digital