Tipu Sultan's Hindu ring makes $244,500 in controversial auction

A ring that belonged to 'Tiger of Mysore' Tipu Sultan (1750-1799) and bears a Hindu inscription has been sold through Christie's, despite pleas from scholars.

Tipu sultan ring
The ring was likely taken from Tipu Sultan's collection following the 1799 Srirangapatna battle against the British East India Company's forces

The ring, which was part of the Muslim leader's personal collection, sold for £145,000 ($244,730) at the highly-anticipated auction of the Raglan Collection, which featured items from the battles of Wellington, Waterloo and the Crimean war from the collection of the Marquesses of Londonderry.

The ring is unusual in that it bears the name of the Hindu god Rama in Devenagri, despite Tipu Sultan being a devout Muslim. It suggests the leader was more lenient to Hindus than was first thought.

Given its importance to Indian history, Professor S Settar from India's National Institute of Advanced Studies appealed to the Indian government to stop the sale, or buy it themselves.

This isn't unknown, with the Indian government purchasing an archive of letters relating to Mahatma Gandhi for $1m ahead of a Sotheby's sale in 2012.

With India's economy thriving, many of its most treasured collectibles could be returning home in the hands of its wealthiest collectors in the coming years, providing a strong opportunity for those in possession of such artefacts.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic Gandhi artefact for sale - your chance to join a growing market.

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