From the surreal to the mystical: The Oliver Hoare Collection

16 October 2019
Christie's Online


Oliver Hoare amassed sensual and fabulous relics spanning 5,000 years of history. As his collection comes to auction on 25 October, specialist Pat Frost selects her highlights

‘The Oliver Hoare Collection is incredibly varied,’ says specialist Pat Frost. ‘He was the sort of man with very strong interests and those included art, music and beauty — often in the female form.’

The highly influential Islamic art dealer was born in 1945 and studied at the Sorbonne before joining Christie’s in 1967, where he was intrinsic to setting up the Islamic Art department. In 1975 he established the Ahuan Gallery, specialising in art from the Middle East.

Hoare became an adviser to most of the major Islamic art collectors and museums throughout the region, as well as in Europe, America and Japan. In 1994 he was instrumental in brokering a deal to return a prized Persian manuscript to Tehran. Throughout his life he remained an inveterate collector of the fabulous, writing in 2017, ‘The function of a work of art is to make us dream.’ From the surreal to the miraculous, the ancient to the modern, each object he acquired told a story.

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