A very good day at the London salerooms

A very good day was had at the London salerooms. Bonhams in New Bond held its Oriental classical-period carpet sale, on Thursday 26th April 2018. Many of the carpets were fresh to the international market, but with some well known pieces making a return. First up was a large-medallion Turkish Ushak carpet of the second half of the 16th century (lot 95). Formerly in the collection of ambassador Ghazi Aita, it was last sold at Christie's in London in October 2001 for £135,750, it sold within estimate for £181,250, one of the highest prices ever paid at auction for an Ushak carpet of this design type. In the afternoon, the final selection of Christie's 'Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds' at King Street featured a trio of previously unknown Ushak Lotto arabesque carpets, consigned by an Italian noble family descendants from a number of cardinals and Pope Alexander VII (d.1667), from whom the family may have inherited the rugs. All three performed considerably better than might have been expected. The first, lot 258, a Lotto carpet in good condition, was estimated at £40-60,000, but was vigorously competed up to £187,500. The next lot 259, was an early 17th century Transylvanian type of Lotto, estimated at £30-40,000, it was purchased in the UK for £60,000. The top carpet at Christie's was lot 295, a large Persian Safavid Isfahan gallery carpet. This great carpet of the Braganza type, was estimated at £80-120,000, and after a fierce bidding war, sold for £248,750. Across the channel, Artcurial's Antiquities, Islamic & Pre-Columbian Art auction, will be held in Paris on Tuesday 22nd May 2018, the sale offers a selection of Persian Malayer, Bakhtiari, Qum and senneh rugs and carpets, among them a fine Qajar period silk carpet depicting an Annunciation scene.
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