A 19th century Indian knife – £8000 at Gildings.

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A handwritten label says it was gift from the Raja of Coorg to Colonel George Mackenzie Stuart, the commander of a column of the Madras Army at the taking of Coorg and commandant at the fortress of Vallore where the Raja was later held.

This appears to reference the Coorg War fought between the British East India Company and the small south Indian state in February-April 1834. British losses during the campaign were 93 killed before the British ensign was raised and Chikavira Rajendra, the last ruler of the Coorg kingdom, was sent into exile.

Coupled with this provenance, this fine knife sold for £8000 (estimate £400-600) at Gildings (15% buyer’s premium) of Market Harborough on September 22.

‘Illustrious owner’


Tulwar c.1800 – £10,100 at Bellmans.

Another fine Indian blade was offered for sale by Bellmans (22% buyer’s premium) in Wisborough Green, West Sussex, on September 16.

Estimated at £600-900, this tulwar with a damascened blade and a gold koftgari work hilt sold for £10,100.

Dated to c.1800, a key part of its appeal was a blade that carries a number of Persian inscriptions – perhaps relating to the armoury of a former illustrious owner.