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Louis mistress desk sells for £3m

A desk believed to have once been owned by the mistress of King Louis XV of France has sold for more than £3 million at auction, setting a record for a piece by the French furniture maker who created it.

The desk was the highlight of an auction at Christie's in London, Masterpieces Formerly in The Collection of Monsieur and Madame Riahi.

Djahanguir Riahi, a French-Iranian, spent more than 50 years amassing a world class collection of 18th century furniture and works of art.

Last night pieces from his collection sold for almost £20 million, including six works that fetched more than £1 million.

The desk dates from about 1755 and is thought to have been in the renowned collection of Madame de Pompadour, the mistress to King Louis XV of France.