The Jewelry Insider

March 2, 2010

Unique diamonds
and gemstones
are always popular auction items, but the world hasn’t seen them quite like this
before. Sotheby’s is holding its first-ever auction in Doha, Qatar on March
18th, and a jewel-studded carpet made entirely of
diamondspearls, rubies and emeralds
is the glittering centerpiece.

The captivating carpet comes from northwest India, and could fetch as much as
$20 million according to Sotheby’s Deputy Chairman for Europe and Asia, Henry
Howard-Sneyd.

“Crafted in the 1860s as a gift for the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad in
Medina, Saudi Arabia, the carpet was created under the auspices of Gaekwar Kande
Rao, the maharajah of Baroda, a former kingdom in northwest India that is now
part of Gujarat state.”

The carpet took hundreds of craftsmen over five years to complete, and they
used over two million
seed pearls and colored stones to create the stunning swirled rose design.

While most auction houses are hoping to sweep their lackluster earnings
“under the rug” this year, Sotheby’s hopes the recent drop in oil prices won’t
deter the Middle Eastern region’s wealthy from their doorstep.

The swift economic downturn has certainly felt like someone “pulled the rug
out from under us”, so perhaps this intricate piece is the perfect symbol of a
gem-filled bygone era.

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