April 27, 2004

Clive's Mughal loot sells high

Rare Mughal treasures that were brought to Britain by Robert Clive, who conquered much of India, were sold for 4.7 million yesterday at an auction at Christie's in London.

The collection, which was sold by Clive's descendants, fetched more than three times Christie's estimate as bidders competed fiercely for the historic 17th and 18th century works of art.

The highest price was more than 2.9 million paid by an anonymous bidder for a 17th century jewelled flask which until recently was on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Some items went way over estimate:
A fly whisk made from banded agate and inset with rubies, which had been expected to sell for only 5,000 to 8,000, fetched 113 times its upper estimate when it was sold for 901,250.

A dagger with a pistol-grip hilt inlaid with rubies, emeralds and diamonds, which had been estimated at 35,000 to 50,000, sold for 733,250, and a huqqa set decorated with sapphires was bought for 94,850.

Read the full article here. Previous post here; the flask was yesterday's Telegraph's Object of the Week. The Christie's page is here.

Posted by David on April 27, 2004 9:23 PM

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