A rare and magnificent mille fleur ‘star-lattice’ carpet, which is believed to have its origins in Kashmir, India, has gone under the hammer for a whopping amount of US$ 7.7 million at the Oriental Rugs and Carpets auction, Christie’s, London.
Made from fine cashmere wool ‘Pashmina’, the rug, which was sold at more than double its expected selling price, is one of the 12 remaining mille fleur ‘star-lattice’ carpets from the Mughal era.
The 12.9 feet by 13.6 feet carpet, dating back to late 17th or early 18th century, features an intricate scarlet patterned centre surrounded by narrow knotted decorative designs in black woven next to the main border.
The exceptional flower-strewn carpet was once owned by the American industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The rug remained in the businessman’s family for nearly a century before it was sold to a French private collector in 1977.
Later, the red carpet was sold at a German auction house for US$ 718,700 in 1989 and was auctioned again by Christie’s for a record breaking sum of US$ 9,92,500 in 1995.
The Oriental Rugs and Carpets sale which included carpets from Persia, Turkey and Central Asia fetched nearly US$ 8.7 million in total.
Founded in 1766, Christie’s is an international fine arts auction house that offers private sales to clients across the globe.
During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries the carpet looms of the Mughal dynasty in India produced many of the most magnificent carpets extant today. These beautiful carpets were originally woven to adorn the palaces of the Mughal Indian aristocracy, but through Dutch, Portuguese and English trading companies they quickly became highly sought after objects by wealthy Europeans.
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