Tipu’s ring auctioned at Christie’s

A ring which believed to belong to an 18th Century Indian ruler has been sold at an auction in London amid criticism from heritage groups.

The ring was sold for 10 times of its estimated price i.e; £145,000 by Christie’s auction house.

It is believed that belonged to Tipu Sultan, a Muslim king, and it has been taken from him by a British general after his death.

It is inscribed with the name of the 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 he fought against the British East India Company’s forces.

The auction listing noted that:
“It is surprising that a ring bearing the name of a Hindu God would have been worn by the great Muslim warrior”.
“It is perhaps more likely that the ring was taken from Tipu Sultan’s collection”.

Manivannan Thirumalai from the BBC’s Tamil section said, Tipu Sultan, also known as the Tiger of Mysore was considered a progressive ruler. He ruled the state for 17 years after he succeeded his father, Hyder Ali.

S. Sattar, a professor from India’s National Institute of Advanced Studies warned for selling it to any private bidder and urged the Indian government to “make use of all available avenues, legal and diplomatic, to recover the ring”.

Another group calling itself the Tipu Sultan United Front also urged Indian authorities to do all they could to prevent the ring from being sold.

The ring was previously listed for sale by Christie’s in 2012 but was then withdrawn from sale.