A Treasure from the Orient
Nasli Heeramaneck migrated to the U.S. from India in 1927 with two main possessions: $75 in cash and a trunkful of objets d’art and Oriental miniatures. The son of a Bombay art dealer and a descendant of a long line of Parsis (a sect that left Persia in about the 8th century and settled in India), Heeramaneck quickly found a ready market in America. From that day forward, his policy became, as his wife Alice puts it, to “buy five, sell four and keep the best for himself.”
Heeramaneck’s eye for quality, however, was so sharp that even his “second bests” were good enough to ensure him a blue-chip roster of clients, including some of the top U.S. museums. In the process, he built up his own private collections—not only from his native subcontinent, but also of pre-Columbian and Persian art. When a choice
selection from Heeramaneck’s Indian collection toured four U.S. museums two years ago, curators eyed them avidly and wondered which lucky museum would acquire the lot.
Courtesy : Dinyar Patel