The Taj Falaknuma Palace , which opened in November 2010, was recently visited by the British art business and fine art’s auction house, Christie’s.
The palace, which was home to the sixth Nizam Mehboob Ali Pasha and later used by his son, was originally built by the Nawab’s brother-in-law and Prime Minister Amir-e-Paigah Sir Vicar Ul Umra.
Having gone beyond his affordable means in building a grandiose living quarters, the minister was indirectly bailed out of his predicament with the Nawab buying the palace.
The interiors boast of muriels, 16 types of wood including Mahogany, teak and Indonesian wood, 18 types of marble, a 10-foot tall music organ (one of the four of its kind to exist), gold-rimmed lamps and wall fixtures like picture frames, furniture, oriental hand-crafted closets, paintings of the English royal family and the Nawab themselves, cutlery, manuscripts and first edition books and stained-glass paintings, to name a few.
Said Girish Sehgal, general manager to the hotel, “The valuation was a conservative appraisal of the premises in terms of paintings, furniture, cutlery, manuscripts, ivory, pottery, glass and so on. With some of the items costing upwards of £450,000, an estimate of the palace is around £10 million. The auction house had also recently brought a publication on the palace.” The hotel-palace houses three heritage rooms in the main building along with 60 other rooms in the annexe.
The main building also houses the lavish jade room, considered to be one of the most unique collections in the world. Also among the noteworthy is the 100 plus one seater dining table, carved from rosewood.
The ceilings boast of Venetian chandeliers that match the ceiling fans.
Among other things, the Falaknuma was the first residential palace to have electricity.