In Memoriam - Edmund de Unger

By Cornucopia | January 31, 2011

It was with great sadness that we received the news of Edmund de Unger's death on Tuesday 25 January, at the age of 92. A passionate collector of Islamic art since his early years, his collection encompassed carpets and textiles, ceramics, metal, rock crystal and miniatures. For many years, the Keir Collection (named after the house in which it was stored) was kept in his beautiful home in Ham, south-west London. More recently it has been moved to the Museum für Islamische Kunst in Berlin, where it will be displayed according to de Unger's specifications. Born into an noble family in Budapest, he was inspired at an early age by his father's passion for Turkish carpets. Escaping Hungary in 1949, he finished his studies in England and became active on the property market. From the late 1950s he became a truly serious collector, amassing a private collection which would be the envy of many a museum. The quantity and quality of his Turkish carpet collection is truly astounding - in fact, it was one of the largest private holdings of this type anywhere in the world; as de Unger himself once explained, "my love for Islamic art began with carpets." His eclectic, distinctly mitteleuropean approach to collection and display will be sadly missed, but not so much as the man himself. Edmund Robert Anthony de Unger, 1918-2011

Posted in Islamic Art Tagged budapest, carpets, edmund de unger, hungary, keir collection, museum für islamische kunst
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