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The lavishly decorated document amounted to a history of the Siddi dynasty – a family of African descent that ruled this area of southern India for close to two centuries.

An object of obvious academic significance, it shone in the commercial sphere too. Offered at Roseberys in south London on October 22, it sold at £170,000.

Read more about this item in our Pick of the Week and see our story here on the annual Asian Art in London awards.