One of the Great in the Art Collecting World – Passes Away
Widely regarded at one of the world’s richest and most powerful art collector, Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani of Quatar has passed away suddenly at his London home.
Al-Thani was only 48-years-old, and at this time his death is being related to natural causes.
The cousin of Qatar’s current Emir, Sheikh Al-Thani served as the country’s president of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage from 1997 to 2005. During this time he oversaw the development of the oil-rich nation’s ambitious plans to build an extensive line of museums, libraries and schools.
The Sheikh also is known to have spent over $1 billion dollars on art purchases during that same period – more than any other individual in the world.
The royal family of Qatar is known for its prestigious collections. The collection covers a vast array, from ancient manuscripts to contemporary art.
Over the past 20+ years, Sheikh Al-Thani acquired a vast collection of the finest art and artifacts. He concentrated on historical pieces and well as some of the best Islamic ceramics, textiles, scientific instruments and jewelry.
His collection makes up a major portion of the holdings in five existing and planned museums – they include, The Museum of Islamic Art, The National History Museum, The National Library, a Photography Museum and a museum for traditional textiles and clothing.
Sheikh Al-Thani was also a major collector of antique, vintage and rare cars, bicycles, antique furniture and Chinese antiquities.
He is known recently for his purchase of the Henrey Graves Pateke Philippe Pocket watch, which sold for $11 million in 1999, and most notably paying the highest price ever recorded for a piece of art in a private sale or auction – $250 million dollars for Paul Cezanne’s “Card Players.”
A man of great stature, Sheik Al-Thani passed away November 9th – gone far too young from the world of antiques and art.