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Gayer-Anderson Museum: oriental passion

art & culture

In the 1920s, travelling about the Middle East to Aleppo, Baghdad, Cairo… the English Major Gayer-Anderson acquired an oriental collection that is now on display in his Ottoman house in Old Cairo.

Was he a friend of Agatha Christie, Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson and the novelist bumped about the Middle East at the same time and frequented the same circles. Based in Cairo, the Major bought two Ottoman houses dating from 1540 and 1670. They adjoin the Mosque of Ahmad Ibn Tulun. He restored them, joined them together with a veranda, and filled them with all the furniture and objects he brought back from his travels in Lower Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. There are masterpieces of marquetry, sculpture, and witnesses to a forgotten lifestyle.

Do not miss his Syrian living-room furniture inlaid with mother of pearl, his bedroom with its poster bed, and the guest bedroom in which he had a scene of the caliphs of Baghdad reproduced. A refined and cultured world vibrates in these rooms. Imagine its music, its perfumes. The photos of the Major are your historical flying carpet.

Obviously, he also had a sense of humour, to judge from his Sphinx portrait! When he returned to England for health reasons, he donated his house to the Egyptian state. He also offered a goddess-cat with earrings to the British Museum that he himself restored. Unfortunately, it is a copy that is in the house in Cairo.

Gayer-Anderson Museum
Ahmad Ibn Tulun
As Sayedah Zeinab
Cairo

+20 (0)2 2364 7822

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