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The Claude de Marteau Collection at Bonhams

A 15th century gilt brass statue of Manjushri from the Ming dynasty, Yongle period (1402-1424)

The Claude de Marteau Collection:
Treasures from Tibet, Nepal, India and Southeast Asia


Exhibition in New York: March 16-21

On view in New York after touring Brussels, Geneva, and Paris are highlights from the collection of Claude de Marteau, the highly acclaimed dealer and collector. His unique accumulation of artworks, gathered over decades, spans 1,500 years and includes works from the Hindu and Buddhist cultures that flourished in India, Nepal, Tibet and China.

As a young man, Claude de Marteau stumbled upon the art that was to be his lifelong passion while he was on an extended trip through Afghanistan, over the Hindu Kush to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Entirely self-taught, he became a respected dealer and an eminent authority on Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian and Southeast Asian art. He was renowned for his “great eye and intrinsic aesthetic sensibility”, in the words of his friend, the museum curator and scholar of Southeast Asian and Himalayan art and culture, Dr. Pratapaditya Pal.

In his later years, de Marteau increasingly withdrew from public life. Although he displayed some of his collection within his mansion in the diplomatic quarter of Brussels, he kept most works in storage. As a result, only a handful of pieces from Claude's collection have ever been exhibited or published.

A comprehensive survey of the collection was published in December 2021 by the de Marteau Family, in partnership with Bonhams. This catalogue includes essays by Pratapaditya Pal, art historian Jane Casey, and an introduction by Bonhams' specialist Edward Wilkinson. The Claude de Marteau Collection will be offered in four sales by Bonhams in Paris and Hong Kong in June and October 2022 and June and October 2023.

Edward Wilkinson will deliver a live lecture about Claude de Marteau at Bonhams New York at 2pm on Saturday, March 19th (limited seating). Also, the Gandharan Shakyamuni Triad dated to “Year 5”┬áthat is the subject of Professor Juhyung Rhi's lecture at the Metropolitan Museum on Friday afternoon, March 18th, was formerly in de Marteau's collection.

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