Gem-encrusted gold tiger from Tipu Sultan’s throne to go under the hammer

August 7th, 2010 - 3:16 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 7 (ANI): A gem-encrusted gold finial from the throne of 18th century Indian ruler Tipu Sultan is being put up for auction after it was discovered at a Scottish home.

The incredible tiger-shaped figure was discovered after more than 200 years, reports the Daily Mail.

The discovery has thrilled experts of Tipu Sultan, who famously said he would ‘rather live one day as a tiger than a lifetime as a sheep’.

Tipu Sultan - the Tiger of Mysore - was a thorn in the side of Britain’s Empire-building in the 18th century and inflicted various humiliating defeats on his foes.

The British - through the East India Company - finally defeated the ruler and his throne was broken up in 1799.

The British Governor-General, Lord Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, disapproved of breaking it up, but it was done so the spoils could be shared around.

Three tiger head finials from the original eight are known to have survived and incredibly another was sold just 18 months ago after having lain in a castle for 100 years.

A large gold tiger head from the front of the throne now resides at Windsor Castle along with a jewelled bird, which was presented to Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III.

The third surviving finial can be found at Powis Castle, acquired by the second Lady Clive in India. (ANI)

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