A Pearl carpet sold

March 20th, 2009 - 2:14 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

A Pearl Carpet believed to have been created in India more than 100 years ago as a gift for the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed was sold in Qatar on Thursday and for almost almost US$5.5 million at the auction bidding.

Sotheby’s auction house said it had expected bidding for the Pearl Carpet of Baroda to start at US$5 million and believed it would fetch a much higher price. tThe starting amount brought down to US$4.5 million because there were few buyers.

‘We had to reduce the opening bid to US$4.5 million and the pearl carpet (eventually) sold at US$5.458 million,’ including commission and fees, he said.

The eventual buyer was one of three bidders but he wishes to remain anonymous, Mr Basha added.

The carpet is traditionally believed to have been commissioned by the maharajah of Baroda as a gift for the prophet’s tomb, which is located in the Muslim holy city of Medina in Saudi Arabia, Sotheby’s said on its website.

The carpet was exhibited in 1902-3 as a highlight of the great Delhi Exhibition, and was later moved to Monaco. It was showcased again over 80 years later in 1985 in New York.

The carpet was among a host of Islamic art items on auction in Doha.

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