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There was a packed turnout and, as the results indicate, most sections of this diverse sale found buyers, the bulk of the unsolds coming from the early Nishapur pottery and the Contemporary Indian paintings at the end of the day.

Leading their auction was the 17th century Mughal gemset ivory hilt from an edged weapon. The hilt had a chip to one ear and losses to some of the gems, but nonetheless was a piece that had everything going for it: a well carved, attractive naturalistic subject, decorative appeal and last, but by no means least, its tempting come-and-get-it estimate of just £1000-1500.It sold for £17,000 to a dealer in the room against the phones.

The afternoon session devoted to manuscripts, miniatures and
contemporary Indian paintings produced two other particularly noteworthy results for Indian albums. One, from South India probably Tanjore c.1850, comprised 28 hand-coloured lithographs, measuring 9 x 7in (23 x 18cm), their black outlines decorated in watercolour heightened with white on paper.

These included scenes from Indian mythology, images of dervishes and acolytes. The album was presented to the vendor in 1967 by a lady who was costume designer at Sadler’s Wells in the 1950s. Here it was taken to £11,000, comfortably over the £2500-3500 estimate.

The second was an album, produced c.1860 in Lahore in the Punjab by a local artist, that comprised 60 watercolours, 10 of them Punjab and Sikh rulers, including Maharajah Ranjit Singh and Maharajah Dalip Singh, all shown seated on English-style chairs. Architectural views and different trades made up the remainder and the images, which measured 10 x 8in (25 x 20cm), had English titles identifying the subjects. It is similar to an album in the British Library published in Mildred Archer’s Company Drawings in the India Office Library, where she notes that 60 appears to be the normal number of drawings an a standard set, suggesting Christie’s album was complete. This sold for £12,500.