July issue 2009
Minutes after Galleria 919 opened its doors on June 11, people began arriving to view the exquisite collection of antique European porcelain and ceramics.
The exhibition, titled Ila’zemar, which boasts a collection procured from various countries such as Turkey, England and the Netherlands, took about six months to organise and included assorted ceramic Dutch and English plates and bowls priced between Rs 7,500 and Rs 16,000.
Galleria 919 owner Hussain Tariq says he is not interested in displaying run-of-the mill pieces. In fact, he explained that the pieces were collector’s items and some of them were 80-100 years old and likely belonging to the royals. These pieces, mostly 18th century Dutch porcelain, were produced for a few decades, and are characterised by their international style. For example, notable works at Galleria 919 include a Dutch Platesin with a red crescent moon and star.
Among the buyers was fashion designer Umar Sayeed, who purchased an eight-inch diameter Dutch bowl with delicately detailed emerald green roses. “I like the old, intricate work on the bowl,” Sayeed remarked.
While quite a few people made purchases on the opening day, others did not come with the intention to purchase. “We only came for the biscuits,” said Alizay Jaffer as she passed through the exhibit. Later, however, she walked out holding a large glass lamp from another section of the gallery.