A woven wool shawl by repute given by Tipu Sultan to an English officer, Thomas Astley, at the siege of Mangalore in 1784 South India, late 18th Century(5)

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Lot 156
A woven wool shawl by repute given by Tipu Sultan to an English officer, Thomas Astley, at the siege of Mangalore in 1784
South India, late 18th Century
(5)

Sold for £ 5,312 (US$ 6,973) inc. premium
A woven wool shawl by repute given by Tipu Sultan to an English officer, Thomas Astley, at the siege of Mangalore in 1784
South India, late 18th Century
the shawl of rectangular form woven in yellow, blue, red and pale blue wool with a panel at each end containing a repeat design of flower motifs with borders containing flowerheads and stylised foliate motifs; together with four letters and notes written by members of the family, discussing the provenance and other matters
the shawl 296 x 126 cm.(5)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Tipu Sultan (1750-99).
    Thomas Astley, British Officer, Surgeon, a gift to him from Tipu in January 1784.
    Sophia Astley, the officer's cousin.
    Alfred Henry Pechell (1827-1885), a cousin of the above.
    A. W. T. Pechell (1857-1930).
    J. A. L. Pechell (1888-1972).
    A. H. Pechell (1916-2004).
    Private UK collection, by descent.

    The incident involving the shawl took place at the end of the siege of Mangalore. After the surrender of the British garrison on 30th January 1784, a peace treaty was concluded in March, bringing to an end the Second Anglo-Mysore War. The conflict had been going on since 1780, and the treaty restored both side's possessions to the status quo ante bellum. The first letter, unfortunately not wholly legible, in a late 18th or early 19th Century hand, describes the event:

    A. At the siege of Mangalore, in the East Indies, by Tipoo Sahib, the garrison which originally consisted of 2000 men, was reduced by disease and famine to 200, when fortunately peace was proclaimed, and the gallant remains of the British Forces marched out of the fortress with all the honours of war.
    On this glorious occasion, Mr Thomas Astley, Surgeon, one of the survivors, whom his extraordinary professional ... deputation had much [...] particular attentions of Tipoo Sahib, who addressing him said:
    'Young Gentleman, you look exceedingly ill: take this scarf', and at the same time
    [...] camel [...] young [...]

    B. Perhaps from A. W. T. Pechell (1857-1930), the current owner's great-great-grandfather, dated Mull, 22nd May 1919: The young officer to whom Tipoo gave the scarf was cousin to Miss Sophia Astley, her father was Vicar of Alderkirke, Lincolnshire, he married for his second wife your grandma, half sister, rather silly sort of woman, your Papa said, perhaps it was because she wore the scarf. [There follows further unrelated discussion of family members, though there is a brief biographical note on Tipu Sultan}.

    C. Unknown author, presumably circa 1899. Tippo Saib I saw was buried 4th July, 100 years since, so it (the scarf) must be very old. Miss Astley his cousin gave it to Gerard [?], Pa Pechell.

    D. A short note discussing the famous wooden automaton of an English soldier being savaged by a tiger.
Contacts
A woven wool shawl by repute given by Tipu Sultan to an English officer, Thomas Astley, at the siege of Mangalore in 1784 South India, late 18th Century(5)
A woven wool shawl by repute given by Tipu Sultan to an English officer, Thomas Astley, at the siege of Mangalore in 1784 South India, late 18th Century(5)
A woven wool shawl by repute given by Tipu Sultan to an English officer, Thomas Astley, at the siege of Mangalore in 1784 South India, late 18th Century(5)
A woven wool shawl by repute given by Tipu Sultan to an English officer, Thomas Astley, at the siege of Mangalore in 1784 South India, late 18th Century(5)
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