160fb02b-aed5-41f3-997a-23a6f86da593Dubai, UAE: Driven by its belief in the importance of social responsibility in preserving the human and knowledge heritage and making it available to the public, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Charity Foundation donated a unique set of rare collectibles worth nearly Dh1 million to the Treasures of the Library exhibition at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library.
Mohammad Ahmad Al Murr, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library (MBRL) Foundation, expressed his appreciation for this valuable gift.
Al Murr stressed the importance of social responsibility and cooperation between institutions to preserve and promote the exchange of cultural heritage to motivate intellectuals, researchers, and history students to explore and learn from this rich heritage.
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Al Murr, said: “These collectibles will be a strong addition to the Treasures of the Library exhibition, which embodies the world’s finest attempts of philosophical works throughout the centuries.”
Dr. Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson and Managing Director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, said: “Culture and knowledge are the cornerstone of development and progress. I hope that these rare collectibles contribute to enriching the Treasures of the Library exhibition and provide readers and scholars with an opportunity to learn.”
Al Gurg added: “This special gift reflects our organization’s commitment to supporting local cultural and heritage projects, and is a true expression of our strong belief in the importance of preserving cultural and human heritage, and ensuring its availability to everyone, in a way that contributes to preserving the continuity of human civilisation.”
The gifts included Sovereigns of England by William Henry Worthington (Engraver) - London, 1824. The blue crushed morocco covers of this exceptionally fine binding are decorated with thirty nine hand-painted portrait miniatures on ivory ovals and roundels of English monarchs.
The largest miniature portrait depicts Edward VII (1901-1910). This type of binding is known as a ‘Cosway binding, a term coined by J.H. Stonehouse (died 1937) of Sotherans, the booksellers, after Richard Cosway (1742-1821), the eighteenth-century portrait miniaturist.
The term is used to describe a leather-bound book with miniature paintings on ivory and protected by glass either on or inside the cover. It is stamped-signed by Rivière and Son, established in 1881 by the descendants of Robert Rivière, a prominent London bookbinder.
The gifts also included Isabella, or the Pot of Basil, A Story from Boccaccio by John Keats (London, 1910). This copy of Isabella by John Keats was written out, illuminated, and bound by F. Sangorski and G. Sutcliffe of London, with an outstanding 176 semi-precious jewels in the covers.
The upper cover with a richly gilt-tooled pointillé background with a large recessed arabesque titling panel with “Isabella” written in 64 turquoises in a metal frame.
Among the gifts was The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton, 1927. A beautiful Cosway binding, the front cover inset with a watercolor scene by C.B. Currie after George Morland, entitled “The Angling Party.”
The miniature is a lovely scene, among the largest and most detailed of Currie’s works.
Illustrated by E. Fitch Daglish. Bound by Rivière and Son, and established in 1881 by the descendants of Robert Rivière, a prominent London bookbinder.
The Treasures of the Library exhibition houses more than 300 rare collectibles, including an impressive collection of rare and old books, atlases, and manuscripts, some of which date back to the 13th century.
About Mohammed Bin Rashid Library
Mohammed Bin Rashid Library was founded by Law No. (14) of 2016 Establishing the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library, as part of His Highness’s vision to develop a knowledge-based society in Dubai and across the UAE.
The Library has become one of the most ambitious cultural and knowledge based initiatives in the Arab World.
MBRL aims to spark the passion for knowledge across all social groups in the UAE, especially the youth, in addition to the conservation and promotion of Arabic literature, culture and heritage by supporting and promoting reading, research, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
This is reached through offering free access to a unique collection of books and other knowledge resources, as well as providing high-quality information services and launching leading cultural events