Gold tiger's head worth £1.5million must stay in UK under export ban

Gold tiger’s head worth £1.5million that once adorned an 18th-century Indian ruler’s throne must stay in the UK under a temporary export ban

  • A gold tiger’s head must remain in Britain under a temporary export ban
  • The head that once adorned the throne of an 18th-century Indian ruler
  • The export ban was announced by arts minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay

A gold tiger’s head that once adorned the throne of an 18th-century Indian ruler must remain in Britain under a temporary export ban.

The finial, or ornamental furniture decoration, pictured, is set with rubies, diamonds and emeralds and is worth an estimated £1.5million.

It had been put up for sale in Britain by its current owner, whose identity has been kept secret, before the export ban was announced by arts minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay.

A gold tiger’s head that once adorned the throne of an 18th-century Indian ruler must remain in Britain under a temporary export ban

It was one eight gold tiger heads on the throne of Tipu Sultan, ruler of the former Kingdom of Mysore.

Known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, he was considered the greatest threat to the British East India Company until his defeat and death in 1799.

The throne was broken up by British Army agents and its parts, as well as other objects from Tipu’s treasury, came to the UK amid great public interest.

The tiger’s head is one of four to survive and the temporary ban was imposed in the hope that a UK buyer such as a gallery may be found, Lord Parkinson said.

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