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The Seringapatam Medal in Silver


HANOVER. temp. George III. 1760-1820. AR Medal (49mm, 49.78 g, 12h). Seringapatam Medal. Issued by the Honourable East India Company. By Conrad Heinrich Küchler. Soho (Birmingham) mint. Dated 4 May 1799 (in Roman numerals), but struck circa 1801. British Lion standing right, subduing supine Indian Tiger (emblem of Tipu Sultan) to ground; Lion’s tail supporting banner above, decorated with Union Jack and inscribed asad Allah al-Ghalib (lion of God Almighty in Arabic); C · H · K · to lower right; IV. MAY./MDCCXCIX. in two lines in exergue / The storming of the Seringapatam Fort; seri rang patan ra 28 dhiqa'da (= dhi'l-qa'da) 1213 ba hijri khodadad ((Seringapatam, 28 dhi'l-qa'da 1213 of the hijra/God-given in Persian) in two lines in exergue. BBM 27; Eimer 903a. Iridescent toning, a few very light marks and hairlines, underlying luster. EF.

Known as the “Tiger of Mysore”, Tipu expanded Mysore’s power in southern India through a series of enlightened reforms and successful wars against his neighbors. The wealth of his court made it a great source of patronage for the arts. Tipu’s abilities attracted the eye of the French, who hoped to employ him as a diversion against the British. Seeking an alliance with the Sultan, the French supplied him with arms and advisors. During the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789-1792), Tipu, after initial success, was defeated by forces of the East India Company under the command of Charles, Lord Cornwallis, who had been appointed the Governor-General of India several years after his defeat against the Franco-American forces at Yorktown. Tipu was allowed to remain on the throne but he was forced to cede territory and hand over two of his sons as hostages, as well as pay a cash indemnity. Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt prompted a new alliance between the French and Tipu, leading to the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799). The war culminated in the storming of Tipu’s island stronghold Seringapatnam by the British, led by Colonel Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington). Tipu Sultan died in the battle and many of his treasures were brought back to England by the victors.