"Crafted in the 1860s as a gift for the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad 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. It took five years of labor by hundreds of craftsmen to make. Some 2 million seed pearls and colored glass beads and gems set in a gold foil background make up the swirling rosette design."Apparently, the rug was never bestowed on the tomb but ended up as divorce spoils when the Maharajah of Baroda separated from his second wife, the "Wallis Simpson" of India, in 1956.
I do hope some of the larger museums have some funds squirreled away so they can step in and buy up some of the quality art pieces that are now being liquidated by wealthy collectors.