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Christie’s also fielded the leading carpet price, £170,000 for one of the celebrated Lotto classes of Ushaks from the 16th century. This 8ft 6in x 4ft 11in (2.5 x 1.5m) specimen looked to be in good overall condition and comfortably exceeded expectations. The auctioneers also obtained a treble-estimate £115,000 for the catalogue cover lot, the Kirman pictorial carpet pictured here.

Dated to c.1910, and measuring 15ft 8in x 10ft 11in (4.76m x 3.3m), the design is taken from a Louis XIV Gobelins tapestry from a fable series whose own designs are in turn based on Raphael drawings.

The other two rooms both fielded smaller selections. Sotheby’s Bond Street's 163 lots offered on April 28th netted £948,600, with selling rates of just 45 per cent by lot and 59 by value, and Bonhams Bond Street's 124-lot sale on the 27th realised £254,370 and sold 56 per cent by lot and 60 by value.

Sotheby’s headline lot was a fashionable carpet with plenty of Western appeal, a cream ground late-19th century Ziegler. At 16ft 7in x 13ft 9in (5m x 4.2m) it was smaller in size than the version sold recently for £110,000 at Lyon and Turnbull but it made even more money, selling for £130,000.

With Mughal Indian material making so much of the headlines in this series, Bonhams’ star prize was a timely and interesting offering, a small fragment from a Mughal carpet, right, dated to c.1630-1650 that sailed past its £6000-8000 estimate to take £48,000.

The tiny piece, measuring approximately 5 1/2 x 6in (14cm x 15cm), woven on silk with a pashmina pile, is part of a group of classic period carpets notable for a high-density knot count and fine weaving. It relates specifically to two other carpets that are less fragmentary but still reduced in size; one in a private Belgian collection, the other in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.