he formalities which accompanied the surrender of two of Tipu's
sons as hostages to Lord Cornwallis, at
the end of the 3rd Mysore War also included an elaborate exchange
of gifts. Cornwallis gave each son a gold watch, and the following
day, the Princes presented Cornwallis with a fine Persian sword
and the obligatory jewels and shawls. Cornwallis then presented
a gun and a pair of pistols to the children. Two fine palanquins,
never unpacked, were found in the Palace in 1799.
In February 1794, after the fulfilment of the Treaty, Tipu's
sons prepared to return to Seringapatam. Abdul
Khalik appears to have been the favourite of both Lord
Cornwallis and Lady Oakley, wife of the Governor of Madras.
Lord Cornwallis presented the him with a number of costly
gifts including 'the most beautiful palanquin which the
mechanics of India could produce.' An Officer of the Company,
in his Memoirs, describes the palanquin as 'richly ornamented
with solid silver and gold mouldings; the panels on each
side were decorated with emblematical devices, characteristic
of the prejudices of the Mysoreans, supported by two snakes,
whose colour in the sun was such a fine piece of Art, as
to be a close representation of Nature.'
A far less resplendent palanquin, actually
in use, is depicted in the Battle of Pollilur mural, which survives
on the walls of Tipu's Darya Daulat palace at Seringapatam. Not
far away from this palace stands the tomb of Col Baillie, the occupant
of the palanquin, and the commanding officer of the British contingent
which was so resoundingly defeated at Pollilur in 1780.