A Pearl Carpet, and it is not a Fairy tale!!!
Pearl carpet of Baroda – A Jewel fit for the God Himself, is the epitome of human craftsmanship with the most beautiful gem offered by Nature- Pearl. This exquisite work of art goes on to show that pearls have always played a very significant part in human endeavor to create offerings befitting God.
That the royalty and noblemen across the world have been fascinated by pearl for the last five millennia is a well known fact. More often than not, they commissioned and contributed in creating beautiful pieces to be treasured by posterity.
Apart from jewels, pearl encrusted dresses, furniture, and carpets such as the one we are about to explore were designed and created by millions of artists working day and night.
Lets not forget, the only source of pearls at that time was the humble (and some time unforgiving) sea (or river) and to collect as many pearls as required to create a masterpiece like this one, was a humongous task in itself!
Much unlike the famed pyramids of Egypt, this Pearl Carpet was created not to satisfy some grandiose notion of a King, but it was meant to be offered to Prophet Mohammed , as a sign of devotion of a Hindu King, to the God and his preachings, as well as to about 50% of his subjects , who were followers of Islam at the time.
The most wonderful piece of embroidery ever known,” as Sir George Birdwood, a connoisseur of Indian jewelry, called this incredible carpet, gets its name from the Maratha Princely State of Baroda, one of the four Princely States of the Maratha Confederacy, that was ruled by the Gaekwar dynasty since 1740.
It was commissioned by Gaekwar Khande Rao, the Maharajah of the former Indian state of Baroda, in 1865, possibly as a gift for the tomb of the prophet Mohammed at Medina, and took around five years to complete.Gaekwar Khande Rao, was a Hindu ruler, but he was fascinated by Islam and its teachings, and ordered the carpet in order to fulfill a vow.
He wished to cover the tomb of the Holy Prophet of Islam with this amazing carpet covered with pearls and diamonds, and thus show his respect to Islam, and his Muslim subjects.
But Gaekwar Khande Rao died before the pearl carpet could be delivered and was kept as a state treasure.
The Baroda Pearl Carpet was last exhibited in 1903, at the Indian Art Exhibition held at the Qudsia Gardens in Delhi, during the Delhi Durbar of 1903. The Maharajah of Baroda at the time, Sir Sayyaji Rao III Gaekwar, allowed it to be displayed as a mark of respect for the British Sovereign. This was the first time the carpet was released by the Royal Palace of Baroda for public viewing since its creation in 1865. The carpet remained in India at the Royal Palace of Baroda, until 1946, when it was taken to Monaco.
After its first exposition in Delhi in 1903, the carpet again resurfaced for public exposition only in 1985/1986 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, at an exhibition titled “INDIA” held between September 14, 1985 and January 5, 1986.In 1994 the pearl carpet were found in a Geneva vault. It was sold to an Arab prince for $31 million.
The Pearl Carpet fetched a record $5.5 million at the
Its price beat the previous highest amount paid for a carpet or rug: $4.5 million in June, 2008 at Christie’s International, New York, for a 17th-century Persian silk Isfahan rug that had belonged to the U.S. collector Doris Duke.
The Pearl Carpet of Baroda is 2.64 meters long, 1.73 meters wide, and is made from a mixture of silk and deer hide. Its design was inspired by the Indian Mughal period and the Safavid period of Iran, but its motifs could easily be ignored, if it weren’t from the millions of precious stones covering it.
Most of the Pearl Carpet of Baroda is covered with colored glass beads, and an estimated 1.5 to 2 million natural seed pearls harvested from the coasts of Qatar and Bahrain. In the middle of the carpet there are three large rosettes made of 2,520 table-cut and rose cut diamonds, placed in silver-topped and blackened gold. Over 1,000 cabochon rubies and 600 Colombian emeralds can be found on the carpet.
Have a look, drool over it, and decide for yourself, shouldn’t you be investing in some proud pearl heirloom yourself? One day, someone might swoon over an exotic design that you collected, enjoyed and then bestowed
to them. They will definitely cherish it for their lives.
These days, thanks to advances in freshwater pearl technology, buying pearl jewelry will not burn a hole in your pocket, and with beautiful designs to choose from, you are sure to create a collection worthy of royalty all for yourself!!.
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