Historic Indian relic to be sold

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A gem-encrusted tiger's head from the throne of Tipu Sultan - the Indian king famed for resisting British rule - is due to be sold in the UK next month.

The sale takes place less than a month after personal possessions of the Indian independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi, were sold in the US.

Auctioneers Bonhams say the head is one of the most important Tipu Sultan belongings to be sold.

It had been left undiscovered in an English castle for at least 100 years.

The tiger's head is a finial - or decorative piece - from the octagonal golden throne of Tipu Sultan, the "Tiger of Mysore", and is valued at about $1,169,278 (£800,000). It is due to be sold at Bonhams in London on 2 April.

Correspondents say that the auction is bound to be controversial in India, where the recent sale of Gandhi's spectacles, pocket watch, sandals and other personal items in New York was not well received.

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