Front View of the Throne of the Late Tippoo Siltaun in the Laul Mahaul Palace of Seringapatan
Watercolor and graphite with pen and black ink on medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 15 3/16 × 8 1/4 inches (38.6 × 21 cm)
Inscribed below image in pen and black ink: "Front view of the | THRONE | of the late Tippoo Sultaun | in the Laul Mahaul ( Palace ) of Seringapatam. | The solid part of the Throne is made of heavy Black wood, over which | is nailed on a coat of the purest gold about as thick as a guinea; | the workmanship, especially of the indented Tyger stripes is very | beautiful & highly polished. The Tygers' front is only seen in the above | but his rear & tail reach to the back part of the throne, at the two | ends are little golden steps to mount by, at each side of which is at the | four principal corners are small tygers' heads. The length is about | 8 feet & breadth about 5. The Canopy is made of a lighter wood | covered with gold inside & out, the same as the body of the throne. | The fringe is entirely made of small pearls & on the top is a Bird | representing the Hummah, ( a fabulous royal bird ) which is com | posed entirely of Diamonds, Rubies & Emeralds. Its body is about | the size of a Partridge but its tail - longer & broader than that of a | Pheasant; its beak consists of one large beautiful emerald with | another suspended thereto. The Canopy is supported by a strong | iron bar gracefully curved & gilded. In the rear of the throne is | seen the door & two grated windows of the room in which Tippoo | Sultaun always slept, it has no other entrance or windows, the [continued on verso] latter are made of strong bars of iron & the door of thick wood. | This cot, with silver legs about six inches long was slung by the | Four Corners to the ceiling of the roof, but only about ten inches from | the ground, to prevent snakes & vermin from getting upon it. | Throughout the whole of the Palace / which is painted as above, green | with tyger stripes / are written near the ceiling Persian or Arabic verses | importing the grandeur & magnificience of the prince, such for | instance as 'The Lion or Leo was the planet of this Lord of Strength' | 'The Hero at his birth received honour from being in the sign Aries' | 'He thereby united & gained knowledge, learning science & strength at the same instant.' | JB The throne being broken up by the Prize Agents the above | mentioned bed has been sent as a present to her Majesty by the | Rt. Honble. the Earl of Mornington Gov Gent. &c. | Copied from a drawing taken by | Thos. Marriott Esqr. ADC to the Comder. in chief | Madrass Augst. 6th 1799"
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection