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Painting of the Sultan’s Deceitful Victory Over the British Sold In The UK For Rs 6 Crore

The painting stretches over 10 large sheets of paper, nearly 32 feet long


A vivid pictorial painting depicting the historic victory of Mysore ruler Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan over the East India Company in 1780 was spent in London on Wednesday at a loss of 630,000 pounds (Rs 6.28 crore).

The ‘Battle of Pollilur’, which took place on 10 September 1780 as part of the Second Anglo-Mysore War, was the center of Islamic and Indian World Art sales at Sotheby’s auction house.

As a visual record of the battle and to commemorate his victory, Tipu Sultan had commissioned a painting of the Battle of Pollilur as part of a large mural for the newly built Daria Daulat Bagh in Seringapatam in 1784.

“What is in this painting is violence and anarchy and the violence of battle. It is arguably India’s greatest depiction of the defeat of colonialism that still exists. It is a unique and great work of art, ”said Sotheby’s expert William Dalrymple, author of‘ The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company ’.

“Tipu Sultan is probably the most effective opponent the East India Company has ever faced. The trick shows that the Indians can fight, that they can win … the first time the European army was defeated in India was this Battle of Pollilur, ”he explained.

According to the auction house, three existing copies of the original Pollilur painting are known – three details in miniatures at the Baroda Museum, 24 preparatory paintings depicting parts of the series, and a complete panorama sold this week, comfortably surpassing its lowest guide price of £ 500,000.

The painting stretches over 10 large sheets of paper, nearly 32 feet long, and focuses on the moment when the East India Company’s bullet tumbrill exploded, breaking the British plain, while Tipu’s cavalry advanced from left and right, “like angry sea waves. , ”According to Mughal historian Ghulam Husain Khan.

In Pollilur, Tipu Sultan – known as the Mysore Tiger – inflicted what has been known as the “worst defeat” of the East India Company and the painting captures the “mere energy” of that victory.

Another highlight at the auction was “A set of enamel gold gems and shields” from 19th-century Jaipur, which surpassed its guide price range between 40,000 pounds and 60,000 pounds to go under the hammer for 258,300 pounds.

“This great shield must be made to commemorate a particular event; several shields were presented to the Prince of Wales during his visit to India in 1875-76, all luxuriously enameled and fitted with precious stones, ”said Sotheby’s.

“The color scheme and motifs in the circle are comparable to contemporary Jaipur craftsmanship,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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