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One woman's passion for antique furniture and other delightfully intricate dust-catchers is being showcased at Wafi mall all this week as part of Dubai?Summer Surprises. Among the 18 sets on show at this year's The Collectors event are several pieces from gallerist Ghada Kunash's private collection.



A Jordanian national of Circassian origin, Kunash, 40, has been accumulating everything from late 19th-century furniture to mechanical musical instruments, signed memorabilia, maps, cameras, jewellery, coins, porcelain to newspapers and magazines and sheets of Koran verses from the 1700s.



"I can't say there was a specific moment when I decided to start collecting," she tells Emirates Business. "Being born into a big family of Circassian origin, like any other minority, we always tried to maintain our traditions and our own ways of life. A major factor that reinforced this attachment to old things is definitely being Jordanian; the country is a living museum with history everywhere."



As a child, she joined her family on explorations of this ancient land and as an adult studying architecture, she was required to study past civilisations and cultures.



"To understand a culture you need to go through all what was left behind; whatever was built, what was inside these buildings. Antiques, for me, are like the old stories grandparents tell; pulsing with identity, emotions and the positive energy to move forward," she says.



Certainly, it's a habit that's paid dividends. What could seem like a lot of old junk to many is actually worth some Dh13 million, she says. "But I don't know really what the value of the collection would be now at auction."



As they say on the television show Cash In The Attic, anything can happen at auction.



Although she bought much of her collection in Jordan and, in recent years, in Dubai, where she runs the Vindemia art gallery, it isn't all her own work: many pieces were in the family and were passed on to her after her grandfather died, while others were gifts.



"I also buy a lot when I travel: wherever I go, I have to visit antique shops and I will often fly specifically to small cities with big flea markets, no matter how far or how difficult."



Among her souvenirs is an 1893 vintage Steinway grand piano that she says belonged to Britain's King Edward VII. Kunash heard the piano was for sale from an antique dealer in Switzerland and bought it three years ago. It comes with certificates of authenticity and provenance, she says, that prove the piece was commissioned by the monarch when he was Prince of Wales.



"It was delivered without legs," she says now. "it then took three years for Buckingham Palace to tell me they had found them and send them on to us. So the piano has now two sets of legs as we had to manufacture new ones in the interim."



In estimating its value, she says it would fetch Dh4m. Whether or not she will part with it is a different story.

emirates247.com Jul 31, 2009
by Keith J Fernandez

Опубликовал administrator, 31-07-2009, 19:33. Просмотров: 1039
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