Noble's Knick-Knacks

History of the World logo

The BBC has launched its landmark History of the World season.

As part of this ambitious project, Roy is asking you to send in photos of items which will tell the history of Wales with YOUR objects. It could be something personal to you that tells the story of the past.

Tigers Head Finial [image © NTPL/Erik Pelham]

Image © NTPL/Erik Pelham

Tipu Sultan had built the octagonal tiger throne around 1793. Cast in solid gold and shaped like a howdah, the throne had a tiger as its centrepiece and eight smaller tiger head finials on the corners. The canopy was adorned with the exquisite gem-studded huma bird or Bird of Paradise. Legend had it that 'he on whom the shadow of the huma bird fell would become the Emperor.' Words from the Quran were inscribed on the canopy and on the throne.

A grand throne-mounting ceremony had been planned but was delayed on account of the Third Mysore War. Tipu swore he would not sit on the throne till he had defeated the British. But in 1799, he lay dead in his fort in Seringapatam, after fighting till the end. It meant that the Tiger of Mysore would never mount his beloved new throne. The British equated his defeat to the defeat of Napolean in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

To the victors went the spoils. Tipu's treasures were plundered by the British and the golden throne was broken up into pieces so the gold and jewels could be distributed. One of the tiger head finials was presented to Lady Clive and is still at the Clive family home in Powis Castle in Wales, now a National Trust property.

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Visit our previous gallery for more of your objects

So if you would like to add to our very own gallery 'Noble's Knick-Knacks' email your pictures to or text them to 81012 [picture messages will be charged at your network's standard rate]. Include your name, a contact and a brief description of the object with your picture. We'll publish a selection on this page.

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