Media Release: Exhibition of rare Islamic art at Bonhams

BONHAMS will be celebrating the start of 2013 with the very important unveiling of Scotland’s largest private collection of pre-Islamic and Islamic art, which has never been seen in public before. The collection will go on view at Bonhams galleries between the 8th to the 13th January.

The collection focuses primarily on items from the Land of Timur, Central Asia, and many of the items having originated from a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Eurasian landmass known as ‘The Silk Road’.

Central Asia is a highly sophisticated cradle of human culture and history – and an integral part of international cultural heritage. The exhibition, with over 650 items, includes artefacts of pre-Islamic and Islamic origin including ancient ceramics, bronzes, books, goblets, glass, furniture, paintings, textiles, coins and much, much more.

This is an extremely significant exhibition because, although Islamic art is found in collections all over the world and several are available publicly through museums, etc, many private collections are still inaccessible to the public. Islamic art of Central Asia in particular is underrepresented in museums, etc in contrast to the rest of Islamic art. This exhibition hopes to fill this gap by illustrating the importance and splendour of Islamic art from this region.

Miranda Grant, managing director of Bonhams Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to host this important exhibition of Islamic Art, certainly the largest in Scotland, and without doubt significant on an international scale.

“We consider it an honour for the public to see this fascinating private collection for the first time at our Edinburgh galleries and we look forward to welcoming many visitors during the exhibition.”

The exhibition, with an estimated value of £5million, contains many ancient and valuable items from pre-Islamic and Islamic culture. Of particular significance are the 16th century signed and dated manuscript of five poems, it’s particularly rare to find a whole book such as this still together since individual pages sell for more altogether than one book. Another item of interest is a 12th century miniature bronze sculpture of a dog, valued in its day because the dynasty treasured hunting dogs so highly.

This highly important exhibition will be open to the public with free admission from the 8th January 2013 until the 13th January, opening times will be 10:00-16:00.


For further media enquiries please contact Martin Hunt on 0131 661 5212 / 07767401760 or at

Notes for Editors

About Bonhams

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, considered to be the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America.

Today, Bonhams operates two major salerooms in London – New Bond Street and Knightsbridge – and a further three in the UKregions andScotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticutin the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas.

For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

For further press information please contact Andrew Currie on 0207 468 5871 or or

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