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The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Posts tagged East India Company:

Tipu’s Tiger

'Tipu's Tiger' is an awesome, life-size beast of carved and painted wood, seen in the act of devouring a prostrate European in the costume of the 1790s. It has cast a spell over generations of admirers since 1808, when it was first displayed in the East India Company's museum. Concealed in the bodywork is a mechanical pipe-organ with several parts, all operated simultaneously by a crank-handle emerging from the tiger’s shoulder. Turning the handle pumps … bellows and controls the air-flow to simulate the growls of the tiger and cries of the victim.

Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in India for whom the automaton was built, identified himself with tigers; his personal epithet was ‘The Tiger of Mysore,’ his soldiers were dressed in ‘tyger’ jackets, his personal symbol invoked a tiger’s face through clever use of calligraphy and the tiger motif is visible on his throne, and other objects in his personal possession [Source]. The death of a young Englishman named Munro carried off by a man-eating tiger in 1792 was the inspiration … Munro was the son of Sir Hector Munro, one of the East India Company’s generals. His death was seen by [Tipu] … as divine retribution against the British invaders [Source - see also documentary].

(Source: vam.ac.uk)

The Curse of the Koh-i-Noor
The Koh-i-Noor was once the largest known diamond. It has belonged to various rulers who have fought bitterly over it and seized it as a spoil of war time and time again. It was taken from India in 1850 by the British East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. The diamond is currently set into the Crown of Queen Elizabeth and on display at the Tower of London.
It is believed that the Koh-i-Noor carries with it a curse which affects men who wear it, but not women. All the men who owned it have either lost their throne or had other misfortunes befall them. Since Victoria’s reign, the stone has generally been worn by the British Queen Consort, never by a male ruler.
The possibility of a curse pertaining to ownership of the diamond dates back to a Hindu text relating to the first authenticated appearance of the diamond in 1306: “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity.”
[The images shows the diamond set into Queen Alexandra’s crown. Alexandra was the first Queen consort to wear the diamond in her crown, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth followed her example. Queen Victoria had it set into a brooch, which she wore often. The British Royal Family were apparently aware of the curse when the diamond came into their ‘possession’]

The Curse of the Koh-i-Noor

The Koh-i-Noor was once the largest known diamond. It has belonged to various rulers who have fought bitterly over it and seized it as a spoil of war time and time again. It was taken from India in 1850 by the British East India Company and became part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877. The diamond is currently set into the Crown of Queen Elizabeth and on display at the Tower of London.

It is believed that the Koh-i-Noor carries with it a curse which affects men who wear it, but not women. All the men who owned it have either lost their throne or had other misfortunes befall them. Since Victoria’s reign, the stone has generally been worn by the British Queen Consort, never by a male ruler.

The possibility of a curse pertaining to ownership of the diamond dates back to a Hindu text relating to the first authenticated appearance of the diamond in 1306: “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God, or a woman, can wear it with impunity.”

[The images shows the diamond set into Queen Alexandra’s crown. Alexandra was the first Queen consort to wear the diamond in her crown, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth followed her example. Queen Victoria had it set into a brooch, which she wore often. The British Royal Family were apparently aware of the curse when the diamond came into their ‘possession’]