*****UPDATE: This Rug has SOLD for nearly $5.5 Million USD on March 19, 2009*****
This March 19th, 2009, Sotheby's Doha is going to be auctioning off a pearl studded carpet for what will be the highest auction estimate placed on rug. 'The Pearl Carpet of Baroda' as the rug is referred to as, will have a starting bid of $5,000,000 according to GulfNews.com.
Believed to have been made around 1865, The Pearl Carpet of Baroda is reputed to be a gift for the Prophet Mohammad's Tomb. The carpet has an estimated 1.4 million+ Basra pearls integrated into it's surface, hundreds of precious stones including rubies, sapphires, diamonds and gold.
While the bidding will start at $5,000,000 USD, the Carpet is expected to fetch a significantly higher hammer price. If the rug does sell just at the starting bid, it will exceed the World Record for Highest Price Paid for a hand made Carpet by more than a half Million Dollars.
According to the Sunday Tribune, the rug measures approximately 5'8" x 8'8". Very interesting information here about this extraordinary piece, which apparently in 1865 was valued at some 6,000,000 Rupees, or $120,000.00