The most incredible carpet ever created by human hand, the famous Pearl Carpet of Baroda is a diamond-and-pearl-encrusted treasure.
“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 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, and took around five years to complete.
Gaekwar Khande Rao, was 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 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.