Provenance: Presented to King George III by Sir John Cradock, May 1811 (CHAC no.2126).
Description: Such was Tipu’s infamy in England that collectors were eager to obtain personal relics, and many more swords survive in British country-house collections than can possibly have been found by the side of the Sultan’s body where he fell in 1799. This sword, which bears an early nineteenth-century manuscript label inscribed ‘Favourite sword of Tipoo’, has a greater claim than most. The numerous inscriptions on the blade show beyond doubt that it was a fighting sword that belonged to Tipu. The hilt is covered with the bubri tiger-stripe emblem and two of the five tiger head terminals have jewelled eyes. This refinement is not present on another sword which in other respects closely resembles this one, which was in the collection of the 2nd Baron Clive.
Inscribed in six places on the blade in gold inlays with a Persian distich and Koranic verses.
Catalogue entry adapted from George III & Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste, London, 2004