09 June 2012

The Muse: Tipoo Sultan

 My new mild addiction? Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, I actually feel like I've read them before, even though I know I haven't. I guess it just comes with reading a lot from the era, Regency England as seen through the filter of the Napoleonic Wars, specifically the Peninsular campaign. That being said I actually started at the beginning of the series, chronologically, not necessarily the order that they were written in, with Sharpe's Tiger. It chronicles Sharpe's experiences inside the court of the Tippo Sultan's (sometimes spelled Tipu) European guard, posing as a deserter from the British army to rescue a captive General. It has all the lush detail and bloody battle scenes that make any good historical novel a prize but Cornwell's detailed descriptions of the Sultan's army fascinated me. The Tipoo was obsessed with exotic animals, particularly tigers. His tiger organ, featuring a redcoat being savaged by the animal was famous and today resides in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The book described the Tipoo's soldiers uniform as mauve and white tiger striped, I feel like the guys from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy would approve of those uniforms don't you?

 Sweater: Bleu, thrifted via Saver's
Dress: Miss Tina by Tina Knowles via Walmart
Brooch: vintage, via Wheeler School Annual Clothing Sale
Bracelet: via Anthropologie
Shoes: BCBGirls via hand-me-downs from L'oreal

Interesting to note this is an under $20 outfit, not something I think the Tipoo could have managed even if he tried. The dress as on clearance for $4.44 at Walmart (I also bought it in another pattern) and the sweater was only $4.99 at Savers. The shoes were a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law's sister L'Oreal when she got pregnant and they didn't fit anymore. The most expensive thing I'm wearing? The bracelet which was was $10 on clearance, the brooch was only fifty cents at the Wheeler clothing sale. So for $19.93 I'm ready for the fashionable siege of Seringapatem. The bigger challenge has been all week we've had crazy unpredictable weather, I caught a ten minute sunny period at Lincoln High School while I was at the Library next door. You can see the wet pavement behind me. For three days in a row we've had crazy violent thunderstorms every afternoon so I didn't manage pictures Thursday or Friday.
I really like the play of patterns in this outfit, the scale between them is good and the colors area great compliment. The Tipoo kept cheetah's as well as tigers, and the sweater has both purple and white-striped bell sleeves, as well as an Eastern inspired pattern and a sprinkling of jewels.
The Tipoo was known for his jewels, notable the enormous ruby hewore on his helmet, all were obviously looted following the fall of Seringapatem, because of the sprinkled sparkles on the sweater I kept it a little tamer.

The irony of course is that the lion is that the lion is the symbol of Great Britain and is heavily featured in their military uniforms, flags, and history. The Tipoo and his tiger army  were crushed at the siege of Seringapatem and he was shot by an unknown assailant, Sharpe does the deed himself in the novel.

The mascot of Lincoln, RI is the Lions (obvious right?) The statue has to have been there at least 20 years because I remember it when I was very small because my babysitter Barbara used to bring us there to play and climb on it it just like people do with the big ones in Trafalger Square in London.

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