The exquisite Pearl Carpet of Baroda was recently sold in Doha by auction house Sotheby’s for a staggering $5,458,500 USD.
Commissioned circa 1865 by Sir Khanderao Gaekwad (1828–1870), the Maharaja of Baroda, reputedly originally intended as a gift for the tomb of Mohammed at Medina, the carpet has been made of of approximately 1.2-1.5 million pearls harvested from along the Gulf coasts of Qatar and Bahrain, and weigh up to approximately 30,000 carats.
The carpet is further adorned with approximately 2,500 table-cut and occasional rose-cut diamonds, estimated to weigh 350-400 carats, and sprinkled with diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies arranged in an arabesque pattern and set in silver topped gold or possibly blackened gold.
Baroda, a state of approximately 8300 square miles about 250 miles north of Mumbai, India has been ruled over for approximately 2000 years, but it was during the British Colonial era that its status, wealth and grandeur truly came to prominence with Khanderao, whom was only too keen to opulently display his riches. This Pearl Carpet is true evidence of this.