Latest World Records 2012

World Most Expensive Pearl Carpet sold at $5.5mn

The famed Pearl Carpet of Baroda has become world's most expensive carpet beating the record of a silk Persian rug, sold last year. It has also set the record of a work sold at auction in the Middle East.

Sotheby's First-Ever International Auction Series in the Middle East realized $18,001,725 (including buyer's premium). A rare Safavid Silk Velvet Panel from 17th century Iran sparked a bidding battle and was sold for nearly ten times the estimate. The Pearl carpet fetched $4.8m ($5,458,500 including buyer's premium) breaking the world record.

Embroidered with as many as one-and-a-half million of the fabled ‘Basra’ pearls, harvested in the southern Gulf region and along the coasts of Qatar and Bahrain, the bejewelled masterpiece is traditionally believed to have been created as a gift for the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad in the holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia and was commissioned by the Maharaja of Baroda, “Gaekwar” Kande Rao,.

The intended gift was clearly never delivered as the Maharaja died before he made the donation and the carpet therefore remained in his family collection for more than 100 years.

The Pearl carpet broke the record held by a silk Isfahan carpet, Silk Safavid Carpet, which went under hammer for $4.45m at Christie's auction, last year.

At the Arts of the Islamic World session, a Safavid work, exhibited for the first time after having resurfaced from a private collection, went under hammer at $3,442,500m.

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