The man who brought his dodo obsession to London's collectors in 2015 is now throwing his weight behind unicorns. The Islamic art dealer Oliver Hoare opens the second iteration of his predominantly selling exhibition Every Object Tells a Story at 5 Cromwell Place in London from May 4. The 400 pieces from about 3000BC to 2016 included items related to what most believe to be a mythical beast.
Hoare begs to differ, coining the term "unicorn-deniers" in the catalogue, which is due to go online this week. Among the items is a 2.07 meter "Unicorn's Horn" (northern Europe, 1427-1618), priced at £55,000. For the deniers out there, more believable objects include a 16th-century engraving, "The Unicorn Purifies the Water with his Horn" by Jean Duvet (£52,000), and an onyx sculpture of a unicorn by Michael Cooper (2016, £17,000).
Arts of Asia Magazine
I am now looking forward to several spectacular and enjoyable art events in the months ahead, and would like to mention two shows in particular. Oliver Hoare will be presenting a new edition of "Every Object Tells a Story", a public exhibition on view from May 4th to July 5th, 2017 at 5 Cromwell Place, London. The exhibition comprises approximately 400 unusual and interesting objects spanning five millennia that represent multiple civilisations; each has been carefully selected on the basis of its backstory and historical interest.
Highlights include a 13th century silver drinking vessel bearing the seal of Mongke Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan and ruler of the Mongol dynasty at its peak; an exceptional group of objects from the Indus Valley civilisation, probably the finest in private hands; a silver skull pomander believed to have been owned by King James II; a rare group of votive figures from ancient Bactria; a 2000-year old Mexican stargazer; and there are also sections dedicated to magic, sex, myths, meteorites and unicorns.
by Robin Markbreiter Publisher & Editor
Press from 2015 Exhibition
World of Interiors - July 2015
An exquisite selection of objects, mostly from the lands along the Silk Route, comes together in an exhibition curated by Oliver Hoare. From the first European depictions of Mecca to the Dalai Lama’s double bass, the curiosities reflect many of the antique dealer’s passions and carry histories that illuminate a person, event or place. Christopher Gibbs introduces rarities ‘that sing, startle, make you smile and think.’
Come to Fitzroy Square, treat yourself to the enthralling catalogue, and open your eyes and your senses to this cornucopia of delights.
Such stuff as dreams are made on
The weird and the wonderful have a strange allure and could ‘brown’ be beautiful again?
When I visited Oliver Hoare’s fascinating show ‘Every Object Tells a Story’ at 33, Fitzroy Square W1 (until June 26), I half expected to hear that a contemporary from our early days at Christie’s had been one of the first buyers. Among the assembled works of art and curiosities is a group of 19th century erotic scrimshaw, of which one is engraved with his family motto; the accompanying crest would certainly not have been acceptable to the College of Heralds. If he had heard of it, he would have been too late, as Oliver had already sold the group as one collection.
Indulging his love of the Middle East
Oliver Hoare, the Islamic art dealer best known as advisor to the late Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed bin Ali al-Thani of Qatar during an eight-year, $2.5 billion (£1.7 billion) shopping spree, is to hold an exhibition of objects he has either collected himself or borrowed… Entitled Every Object Tells a Story, it promises to intrigue and stimulate.
His enthusiasm for the Middle East was first aroused as an art history student at the Sorbonne in the Sixties. This led to exploratory travels in the region before finding employment at Christie’s in 1967.
Times - 30 May 2015
Feel vibes of Dalai Lama’s Double Bass
Oliver Hoare loves and tells good stories. A private dealer, he collects collectors as well supplying them with antiquities, curiosities and works of art. Long ago. when he and I were boys at Christie’s, he set up the auctioneer’s first Islamic department, but while the Islamic arts remain at the core of his expertise, his interests now span the globe.
Antique Trade Gazette - May 2015
Hoare displays his diverse hoard spanning 5,000 years of History
The collection of an enthusiast with a truly eclectic eye is something to behold.
One such collector is Oliver Hoare, who founded Christie's Islamic art department, leaving in 1975 to become an independent art dealer specialising in Islamic Art.
Now he puts his own diverse collection of 250 objects and works of art from the past 5,000 years on display, in an exhibition titled Every Object Tells a Story, from May 6 to June 26 at 33 Fitzroy Square, in London's Bloomsbury.
"The point of the exhibition, as its title announces, is to celebrate the fascinating and often peculiar stories attached to works of art," says Oliver.
Time Out - 5-11 May 2015
Every Object Tells A Story: A Cabinet of Curiosities
Over 250 objects have been selected for their extraordinary backstories and historical significance in this fascinating show that covers the past 5,000 years. Celebrating the bizarre context rather than the value of these objects, which include a rare dodo bone, a wooden phallus and a jade pebble, curator Oliver Hoare wants to question what is considered beautiful and culturally important.