This Indian Mughal carved ivory khandjar handle sold for £24,000 at Holloways of Banbury on June 30.

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Offered at auction on June 30, the 6in (15cm) long handle, which was modeled as a panther's head with a collar of bell-flowers and raised palmetted decoration to the bifurcated hilt, was consigned by a local Indian family, who had owned it for sometime, and was estimated to sell for £1200-1500.

The handle was thought to date from the late 18th or early 19th century and was in good condition, apart from some expected wear to the decoration.

Nick Williams, owner of Holloways, told ATG: "Before the sale, we thought it might make around £10,000, but I don't mind admitting I never thought it would make as much as £24,000."

It attracted bidding from both trade and private buyers before selling to a private online bidder from London via the-saleroom.com.

The buyer's premium was 17.5 per cent plus a three per cent levy for online bidding.