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Sayid Ma'sum

Blunderbuss 1793-94

RCIN 67238

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Flintlock blunderbuss. Walnut stock with gold mounts. Blued steel barrel with octagonal breech and round, flared muzzle, with ornamental and Calligraphic inlays in gold; plain steel lock with cock in the form of tiger's head; gold lockplate. Inscriptions. Steel ramrod. The blunderbuss belonged to Tipu Sultan (1750-99), the so-called Tiger of Mysore. Tipu Sultan succeeded as ruler of the South Indian state of Mysore in 1782, where he built a sophisticated and modern court around his palace at Seringapatam. He spent much of his reign engaged in hostilities against the British. In 1792 a peace treaty was signed with Tipu, but the discovery of secret communications with Napoleon brought about a renewed British campaign against him, culminating in the sack of Seringapatam on 4 May 1799. A number of spoils of war, including this blunderbuss were removed as trophies. It was presented to George III by Richard, Earl of Mornington, Governor General of India, in 1800.