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Friday, May 23, 2014

Tipu's ring fetches 1.5 crore at Christie's auction

This post is about a ring ~ that has fetched a value of Rs.1.5 Crore today in London….  BBC and other news Agencies report that  Auction house Christie's has sold  41.2 gram ring to an undisclosed bidder for almost 10 times its price. Christie’s  is an auction house – their web states it to be ‘a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise’. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. It  has 53 offices in 32 countries.

For those of us who have been following - IPL Auction – the  method in madness –  a very different type of auction when players go  under the hammer,  determined not only by fancy prices but also by the composition of the Team that the bidder is planning about that determines the relative value ~ and Richard Madley  who conducts these elections has become household name here.  In the first ever auctions, Dhoni fetched the highest price…. Followed by Symonds becoming the million-dollar player…

Had recently posted on the newsreport of a noted historian appealing to the Centre and the Karnataka Govt to take immediate steps to stop the auction in London of a ring belonging to 18 century warrior king Tipu Sultan. He had urged the authorities  to make use of all available avenues, legal and diplomatic, to recover the ring. If it is  not possible to prevent the auction , the government should purchase the ring or persuade Indian philanthropists in Londonto buy it on behalf of the nation, he said. The Tipu Sultan United Front has also urged the Karnataka government to bring the ring back to the State.  The gem-studded ring, was bearing the name ‘Ram’ in Nagari letters.  The ring is part of the private collection of Fitzroy John Somerset.

I had posted my perception of our instantaneous reaction and the way we tend to forget things sooner…………   as also on the auction sale of  three explosive letters revealing Mahatma Gandhi's Mahatma Gandhi's deep concerns over the behaviour of his eldest son Harilal, accused of rape by his own daughter.

Today, comes reports that the ring belonging to an 18th Century  ruler Tippu Sultan  has been sold at an auction in London amid criticism from heritage groups. The jewelled golden ring was sold for £145,000 by Christie's auction house (that represents almost 1.5 crore in Indian rupees)…. BBC reports that the ring of Tipu Sultan became notably significant as was inscribed with the name of a Hindu God Rama in Devanagari script.  The 41.2g ring was sold to an undisclosed bidder for almost 10 times its estimated price at the auction in central London, according to Christie's website.

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". Perhaps by showcasing this, the auction house could realize more value by the auction house. Reports also state that another  jewel belonging to Tipu Sultan sold for almost £400,000 in 2009.  The ring now in news  was previously listed for sale by Christie's in 2012 but was then withdrawn from sale.


If these remind of another auction that rocked the country – it was the tained Spectrum auction ~ the revised auction conducted in Feb 2014  had eight companies in fray for two sets of airwaves frequencies that can be used for 4G services.   A spectrum auction is a process whereby a government uses an auction system to sell the rights (licences) to transmit signals over specific bands of the electromagnetic spectrum and to assign scarce spectrum resources.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd May 2014

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