• Tipu Sultan Cannon


Like many other objects in this exhibition, this cannon is laden with tigers and inscriptions. The tiger motif is most forcefully expressed by the snarling tiger heads at the muzzle (front), trunnions (on the sides) and cascabel (back) of the gun barrel. Within a pair of tiger stripes on the barrel, an inscription calls on the ‘triumphant lion of God’, a phrase found regularly in calligraphic designs of this period. This inscription also provides the place and date of manufacture, while the presence of the heart-shaped ‘Haydar’ talisman shows that the cannon was cast at the sultan’s foundry.

Sultanate of Mysore, 1219 Mawludi/1204 AH/1790-91 CE
India (Sriringapatna)
Copper alloy, gilding
Length: 254cm, weight: 481kg
Signed ‘Ahmad Pali’ MW.604