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Telegraph engineer and collector of Islamic art

[Islamic art] Exhibition of Persian art & curios. The collection formed by J.R. Preece, Esq., C.M.G., Late H.B.M.'s Consul General at Ispahan, Persia. At the Vincent Robinson Galleries, 34, Wigmore Street, London, W. May, 1913. London Vincent Robinson Galleries 1913
4to (33 x 26 cm), ff.[55, single-sided], 16 photographic plates, 3 coloured, 1 folding. Bound in original printed boards, gilt device to upper board, manuscript title to spine. Spine worn and chipped, but sound. All edges untrimmed. Plates and text clean and fresh. Duplicate stamps of the Library of Congress to front free endpaper.

The sale catalogue for an important collection of Iranian art, particularly rich in medieval Iranian ceramics, including very fine examples of Kashan calligraphic tiles. This collection was formed over forty years by a British telegraph official stationed in Iran, and sold by Vincent Robinson, the dealer at the heart of British interest in the Islamic art of Iran, who handled the two great Ardabil carpets now at the Getty and Victoria & Albert Museum.. John Richard Preece (1843-1917) went out to Iran in 1868 to work for the Indo-European Telegraph Department. He spent most of his working life there. After retirement from the Telegraph Department in 1891, he was appointed British consul at Isfahan and served in this capacity until 1907 when he returned home. Preece was part of a circle of telegraph officials in Iran who acted as agents for the foremost European collectors and curators during the latter half of the 19th century. His interest in Persian culture was deep and abiding; he accompanied Cecil Harcourt Smith, one of the British Museum's curators, on his expedition to Persepolis in 1887.