Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Pearl Carpet of Baroda

I realized I had not made mention in any of my blog posts the Pearl Carpet of Baroda, which sold in a Sotheby's auction in March of 2009, and which I must say is one of the most incredible handmade objects I have ever seen. This carpet was made in 1865 for the Maharajah of the Indian province of Baroda, and measures 5' 8" by 8' 8". From afar and at first glance, one would think that it looks like an elaborately woven carpet with an intricately designed floral motif. But upon closer inspection it slowly becomes very apparent that the designs are comprised not of multicolored yarns, but in fact this carpet is completely covered in precious and semi-precious stones.

According to the Sotheby's listing for the carpet, a mind boggling estimate of 1.5 million natural pearls were strung and incorporated into its design. Accenting the pearls are diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires & multicolored glass beads.

The Pearl Carpet of Baroda is truly a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship, and extravagant beyond belief. It is on the surface modest in size, but this decadent display of a Maharajah's wealth could very well be hard to match. In March of 2009 it surpassed the estimated price and sold at auction for 5.5 million dollars. wow.

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