Mughal "star-lattice" carpet brings $7.6m to Christie's

A rare late 17th or early 18th century millefleur "star-lattice" carpet from Mughal india has seen outstanding bids, achieving a 135% increase on estimate in Christie's Oriental Rugs & Carpets sale in London yesterday (October 8).

Millefleur Indian carpet
Millefleur, or ‘a thousand flowers’, is also seen in French and Flemish tapestries from the 15th and 16th centuries

The carpet is one of just 12 known millefleur examples from the period, warranting its £4.7m ($7.6m) sale price. It was originally expected to make up to £2m.

The carpet is valued for its "impressive condition, along with [its] inherent beauty", which "ranks it as one of the most remarkable classical carpets existing today", according to Christie's.

Provenance also adds to its appeal, with the rug having spent over a century in the family of US industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-1899). It last sold in 1995, when it made $992,000 at Christie's New York. Prior to that, it achieved $719,000 in 1989.

The Mughal dynasty (1526-1857) is renowned for its carpet and textile making, with examples such as this reserved to furnish the palaces of the aristocracy.

A "sickle leaf" Persian rug made $33.7m at Sotheby's on June 5, achieving a new world auction record for a Persian rug.

The sale comes as part of Christie's Islamic Art Week, which will see a number of high-profile auctions held in London.

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