A sword believed to have been symbolic in the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 was sold in France for 955,400 euros (almost $1.3 million) at an auction held at the Fontainebleau, 60 kilometres from the capital Paris.
The auction's commissioner Jean Bayer Oosna told Agence France-Presse that the sword was purchased over the phone, and that the buyer did not disclose his name or his nationality.
The initial value of the sword was estimated to be between 800,000 and 1.2 million euros. It sold for 955,400 euros, including all related expenses.
King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, had given the sword to the prince and minister of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Khan, with the signing of a friendship agreement between Afghanistan, Najd and Hijaz in Jeddah on 5 May 1932, before the joining of Najd and Hijaz in the new Saudi state in September of that same year.
After that, the prince of Afghanistan's son sold the sword, which ended up with an antique collector.
The framework of the sword is made of pure gold and steel, and the grip is made of ivory.