An important gem-set gold Navratna Pendant from the Treasury of Tipu Sultan, The Tiger of Mysore (1750-99), Mysore (Seringapatam), late 18th Century
Octagonal, set with a large central cushion flat back cabochon Columbian emerald, within a border of topaz, blue sapphire, zircon, cat's eye, ruby, coral, diamond and pearl, the top with two suspension loops, the front of each set with a ruby, verso with cut-out octagonal section to show reverse of emerald, marked with the name "Haidar" in a bubri-shaped stamp, the bottom drilled for further attachment the pendant 4.6 cm. high; 4.1 cm. wide; 0.9 cm. deep; the emerald approx. 38 carats.
Tipu was a devout Sunni Muslim with leanings towards Shiism and named his kingdom Saltanat-i Khudadad (God-Given State). The large majority of his subjects were Hindus of different denominations and only ten per cent were Muslims, both Sunni and Shia. He was very interested in Sufism and commissioned a number of written works on the subject. He was extremely superstitious and often took the advice of astrologers. He fed Brahmins and paid the expenses for Hindu ceremonies performed to invoke success for his arms. However, in his relations with both Indian and foreign powers, like his father, he was not influenced by religious considerations, but only the political and economic advancement of his kingdom (Hasan 2006, pp. 378-79).
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