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The late Islamic art dealer Oliver Hoare.

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After studying art history at the Sorbonne, Hoare joined Christie’s in 1967 aged 22 and set up the first Islamic art department of any major auction house.

In 1975, he co-founded the Ahuan Gallery, specialising in Islamic art, and helped build the collection of Sheikh Nasser al-Sabah for the Kuwait National Museum.

Perhaps his best-known deal was the exchange, in 1994 on behalf of Iran’s government, of the Willem de Kooning painting Woman III for the ‘Houghton’ Shahnameh (Book of the Kings), a set of 16th century miniatures illustrating the 11th century Persian epic poem.

Qatar culture role

Hoare counted other Middle- Eastern royalty among his clients, including the late Sheikh Saud al-Thani of Qatar. During the 1990s, Hoare acted as adviser to the Sheikh and his cousin, the Emir, as they built Qatar as an important centre of Islamic art and culture.

Kjeld von Folsach, museum director of the David Collection, said Hoare was one of the Islamic art world’s “most influential art dealers – if not the most inf luential… I can hardly think of any important collection – public as well as private – where he hasn’t been involved.”

Damian Hoare, Oliver’s son, worked at his father’s dealership in Cromwell Place, London SW7, and will continue the business.

The dealer died on August 23 and a memorial is currently being planned, details yet to be announced. An obituary will be published in a forthcoming edition of ATG.