The de Behague carpet, made in the Kirman region of south Persia, was hammered down at Christie’s for £6.2m (about $10m USD), almost doubled the previous record set by the Pearl Carpet of Baroda at Sotheby’s last year.
Journalist Charles Recknagel did a much better job with the backstory that I could, so I’ll refer you to his post on the Tea and Carpets blog.
[E]ven as Christie’s evaluators widely publicized the carpet’s pedigree before the auction, they badly underestimated what price the carpet might command.
The auction house estimated the carpet to be worth from $307,600 – $461,400. But when bidding began, the price immediately began soaring toward the stratosphere.
There were seven bidders, one in the auction room and six on the phone from Britain, continental Europe, the America and the Middle East. Among the parties, just one was a museum, all the rest were private collectors.
(Read the complete post here.)