National Trust Inventory Number 1180731.1

Category Textiles
Date 1725 - 1750
Materials Printed cotton chintz, undyed cotton, bamboo, metal and leather
Measurements 2080 mm (H); 1140 mm (W)
Place of origin India
Collection Powis Castle and Garden, Powys
On show at Powis Castle and Garden, Powys, Wales, National Trust

This tent was used by Tipu Sultan as his headquarters in the field while he made progresses about his territories. It was amongst the Indian relics acquired by the 2nd Lord Clive while he was Governor of Madras. At Powis it was used as a marquee for garden parties held by the family.

Summary description

A wall panel from Tipu Sultan's tent. Cotton chintz with a white ground, patterned with acanthus cusped niches, each enclosing a central vase with symmetrical flower arrangement, predominantly in reds and greens, the green achieved by over-painting dyed indigo with yellow (a fugative pigment which has partially disappeared). An enlarged version of the flower-head motif appears in the main horizontal borders on a green ground, and scaled down on a yellow ground in the spandrels of the arch. Triple vertical borders separate the panels, at each end of which is a metal eyelet that has been whipped with thick cotton thread. A black and white merlon and rosette band runs along the top of the qanats. The outside of the tent is a seperate layer of coarse white cotton. Later Mughal, c.1725-50.

See Mildred Archer, Christopher Rowell, Robert Skelton, 'Treasures from India', The Herbert Press in association with The National Trust, 1987, cat. 131, pp. 95-96.

Exhibited: 'Master Dyers to the World', The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., 1982, no.7.

The tent has an area of 58.5 sq.m.


Acquired by Edward Clive 2nd Lord Clive (1752-1839), following the defeat of Tipu Sultan of Mysore and the fall of Seringapatam in 1799. Purchased by the National Trust with funding from The National Heritage Memorial Fund from John George Herbert, 8th Earl of Powis and Powis Estate Trustees in August 1999

Exhibition history

The Fabric of India, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2015 - 2016

Related items

Place of origin India (1748)
Materials Cotton chintz (201)
Paint (30413)
Metal (171979)
Cotton (26891)
Leather (18268)
Bamboo (824)
Category Textiles (52350)
Collection Powis Castle and Garden, Powys (2458)
Periods 18th century (87800)
Object Type Tent (10)

© National Trust Images © National Trust Collections Registered Charity No. 205846

Welcome to National Trust Collections. Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website. If you are planning a visit to see particular items in a National Trust Collection, please check information with the relevant Property first.