The famed Pearl Carpet of Baroda,which has an estimated two million natural pearls,will be a major attraction at Sothebys Arts of the Islamic World auction in Doha next month.
Bidding will start on March 19 around 5 million dollars,but is expected to rise much higher.
It is good to know that such a historical object is a major highlight of our inaugural series of auctions in Doha. The carpet has never appeared at any auction before and the sale therefore represents an unparallelled opportunity to acquire an extraordinarily significant work of art, said Mary Jo Otsea,Worldwide Director of Rugs and Carpets at Sothebys.
She added the Pearl Carpet is believed to have been created as a gift for the tomb of Prophet Mohammed in Medina by the Maharaja of Baroda,Khande Rao Gaekwad.
The gift was never delivered,as the Maharaja died before he could donate it. The carpet,therefore,remained with his family.
The surface of the carpet is embellished with an estimated two million natural seed pearls,known as basra pearls,originally collected from the waters of the Gulf of Kutch.
The design is picked out in coloured glass and beads,encrusted and embellished with gold and hundreds of diamonds and precious stones.