Rare Vanderbilt Carpet to be Auctioned Off at Christie's

ChristiesMughalCarpetChristie's plans to sell this rare Millefleur carpet next month. Credit: Christie's Images Ltd. 2013

LONDON-Next month, Christie's will offer a rare Millefleur "star-lattice" carpet that was once owned by American industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt II and remained in his family for more than a century. It's one of 12 Millefleur carpets that date from late 17th to early 18th century Mughal India. It is expected to sell for between $2.5-3.1 million.

Originally woven to adorn the palaces of the Mughal Indian aristocracy, these carpets were eventually sought after by wealthy Europeans and then--with the rise of industrial wealthy in the U.S. in the second half of the 19th Century--American millionaires. Vanderbilt II acquired this particular carpet for his palatial mansion at 1 West 57th St. in New York, displaying it on the wall of his Moorish smoking room. It was later taken to his summer home, called The Breakers, in Newport, R.I., where the carpet was placed in Vanderbilt's master bedroom.

It measures 12 foot 9 inches by 13 foot 6 inches and is made of pashmina wool on a cotton foundation.

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