When we think about collecting rare or decorative prints those of us in the UK are likely to think closer to home. Maybe British topographical prints of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The beautiful aquatints of picturesque views and architectural splendours, the engravings after the superb landscape watercolours of J. M. W. Turner or the lithographs of the early railway era to mention just a few.
But what about further afield? What about the highly prized prints and documents of other parts of the world like Baghdad, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Damascus, Egypt, Kashmir, India and Morocco or Kuwait? Kuwait has a cultural heritage dating back to antiquity and Kuwaiti Researcher Mohammad Kamal's personal museum boasts many rare ancient Holy Quran copies, and Islamic documents and antiquities.
Kamal owns many 150 to 650 year old gold-engraved Quran prints that come from Baghdad, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Damascus, Egypt, Kashmir, India and Morocco. He has participated in many specialised exhibitions and events where unique ancient Islamic antiquities are put on display.
Know what you’re looking for: He is fond of collecting old and rare manuscripts, noting that he owns some documents that date back to the 3rd and 4th century After Hijra. He explains that every era has its own engraving characteristics that help in identifying where and when documents were printed, the elaborate carvings have different colours, including rose, blue and saffron. The colours differ from one country to another, Indian and Kashmiri Quran, for example, is brown, but the Ottoman one’s are lighter.
Take advantage of technology? Kamal noted that he travels around the world searching for Quranic copies and rare Islamic items, pointing out that thanks to technology it is now easier to find them online through different auctions or antique stores.
Are you using available technology with your own treasure hunting? The benefits of using online technology enables you to take advantage of weekly auctions from around the world. All from the comfort of your own home and laptop. Yes you must know what you’re looking for, the items current market value within reason and is the item specifically what you are looking for.
Most auction houses will do all they can to answer your questions. - If your not already doing it, get on top of the technology and get started with your very own international treasure hunt! (Source: Kuwait News Agency/Saud Sultan)