Millefleur Mughal Indian carpet to make $3.1m at Christie's?

A rare late 17th or early 18th century millefleur "star-lattice" carpet from Mughal India will auction at Christie's London in October.

One of just 12 known Mughal millefleur carpets from the period, it has a high estimate of £2m ($3.1m) ahead of the October 8 oriental rugs and carpets auction.

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

Its "impressive condition, along with the carpet's inherent beauty, ranks it as one of the most remarkable classical carpets existing today," states Christie's.

Its provenance adds to its attraction, having spent more than 100 years in the family of US industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1843-1899).

The Mughal dynasty (1526-1857) was famed for its carpet making, and pieces such as the present one were produced to furnish the palaces of the region's aristocracy.

English, Dutch and Portuguese trading companies ensured the carpets also had a European audience, and they became highly sought after in the West.

"With the rise of industrial wealth in the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century, many of the new American millionaires began to emulate the collecting tastes of earlier European aristocracy," adds the auction house.

It last sold in 1995, when it made $992,000 at Christie's New York. Prior to that, it had achieved $719,000 in 1989.

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

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