An important gem-set gold Finial in the form of a Tiger's Head from the throne of Tipu Sultan (1750-99)
Mysore (Seringapatam), made between 1787-93
gold sheet over a natural resin core, the gold sheet finely smoothed and burnished, set with rubies, diamonds and emeralds. The collar around the base with three tiers of gems: at the bottom an arcaded band set with foiled, polished cabochon rubies; above a band of foiled polished cabochon emeralds, the settings overlapping the stones and with small cusped claws extending onto the surface of the emeralds; and above a further band of foiled polished cabochon rubies. The main gold surface of the head worked decorated with fine dotted pointille punching; symmetrically set on either side of the centre line with foiled table-cut diamonds, foiled cabochon rubies and foiled cabochon emeralds of varying sizes, with larger rubies set on the eyes and the tongue, the teeth set with foiled table-cut diamonds. The ears projecting above the head decorated with chased lines and further pointille punching. The square base of gold sheet forming a collar with rivets (the rivets a contemporary repair as on the Clive finial). The inside of the base with a circular hole revealing the resin interior with two drilled holes, probably from originally mounting technique. The base chased with an arabesque-shaped mark.
8.4 cm. high; 346 g.