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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 09:02 GMT 10:02 UK
Clive of India gems sold for 5m
Lord Clive
Adventurer Lord Clive amassed a large collection of artefacts
A collection of rare gem-encrusted Indian treasures have fetched nearly 5m at auction - more than three times their estimated price.

A jewelled 17th Century jade flask was among the items produced for the Mughal royal court in India and brought back to the UK by Lord Clive.

Decorated with emeralds and rubies, the 25cm high flask sold for 2,917,250.

Other artefacts auctioned at Christie's in London included a dagger and a fly swatter studded with rubies.

The flask was believed have been one of the treasures looted from the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah by the invading Persian monarch, Nadir Shah, in 1739.

There are only two similar flasks in existence, which are now part of the Hermitage Collection in Russia and an exhibition at London's Somerset House.

The flask was said to have been looted from the Mughal emperor
The fly swatter sold for 113 times its estimate, fetching 901,250, while the pistol-grip dagger sold for 733,250.

A huqqa pipe decorated with sapphires and royal blue enamel fetched 94,850, and a pale green nephrite jade bowl sold for 53,775.

The flask was sold to a commission bidder while the four other Murghal objects were bought by anonymous telephone bidders.

Lord Clive, the son of a Shropshire squire, had become a soldier and adventurer who had risen through the East India Company, amassing an incredible collection of artefacts.

He became an opium addict and committed suicide in 1774 at the age of 49.

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