- Nicholas McBurney
London, United Kingdom
- Opening Hours
- By Appointment
I focus on early printing and manuscripts of the Islamic world, from Granada to Singapore, defined as broadly and inclusively as possible. Objects handled might include early Qurâan fragments from the 9th century, 19th-century Urdu editions of Ghalibâs poetry printed in India, an Arabic-language newspaper published in New York in the early 20th century by Arab immigrants, the folk tales of Molla Nasreddin, or the amuletic miniature Qurâans printed by David Bryce at Glasgow as Queen Victoriaâs reign drew to an end. The transmission of art, knowledge, and culture between East and West is a particular interest, whether that be the translation of Greek texts into Arabic under Harun al-Rashid or early European attempts to translate and print the Qurâan in the 16th and 17th centuries.
I buy and sell material of the sort described above. I prefer the rare and the unusual, whether that be a quirky manuscript Qurâan copied at Istanbul in the 16th century or an otherwise unknown example of 19th-century lithography. The provincial is often of as much interest to me as the princely, provided there is a compelling story to be found. My focus is on books and manuscripts, but I have worked with visual material, including prints, drawings, watercolours, and photographs and am always happy to consider examples which relate to my interests.
My experience ranges from individual objects to collections containing thousands of items: I have placed material with significant private and institutional collections, and even sold Eton College the oldest object now in their College Library, a single vellum leaf from a 9th-century Qurâan manuscript written in Kufic script.
I issue occasional lists and catalogues. I am also happy to discuss your specific interests and explore new areas. If any of the above strikes a chord, feel free to send me an email.
- Early printing