Posted by: Tamer Atya | March 15, 2009

World’s most expensive rug expected to sell for £14.5 million

The Pearl Carpet was created using an estimated two million natural seed pearls farmed from the Arabian Gulf

The Pearl Carpet was created using an estimated two million natural seed pearls farmed from the Arabian Gulf

The famed Pearl Carpet of Baroda has a starting price of $5m and will become a record breaker if it sells, beating the $4.45 million paid for a silk Persian rug in New York, at Christies, in 2008.

The sale of the spectacular rug will be handled by Sotheby’s and the auction will be the first for their new offices in Doha.

Commissioned by the Maharaja of Baroda in India in the 18th century, the Pearl Carpet was created using an estimated two million natural seed pearls farmed from the Arabian Gulf.

Embossed with gold set diamonds, rubies and emeralds in their hundreds, the centre piece of the exquisite rug are three large round rosettes put together using table cut diamonds set in silvered gold.

Originally intended to be gifted to the tomb of the prophet Mohammed in Medina, the Baroda rug never made it to its intended destination as “Gaekwar” Kande Rao, the Maharaja of Baroda, died before the rug could be delivered.

Designed to echo a similar rug that exists in the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Baroda example has remained in the Indian princely family since the Maharaja’s death, briefly appearing at exhibitions such as the 1985 landmark exhibition ‘India’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Mary Jo Otsea, Worldwide Director of Rugs and Carpets at Sotheby’s says: “It is fitting that a historic object as magnificent and unique as the Pearl Carpet of Baroda is a major highlight of our inaugural series of auctions in Doha.

“The carpet has never appeared at auction before and the sale therefore represents an unparalleled opportunity to acquire an extraordinarily significant work of art.

“I am delighted that Middle Eastern collectors will be able to view this stunning work.”

After the sale all that will be left is to catch the look on the new owners face when someone puts that first coffee stain on to the rug.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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