• SL Saoud Modern


There was always something to be found on Sheikh Saoud’s enormous desk at his farm: whether it was a plate of fresh mangos or the delivery of the day. Crates were unpacked here and very often he would invite guests to attend this exciting discovery of new acquisitions. His large warehouse was a stunning place, with libraries, masterpieces of modern and contemporary art, cars and bicycles, paintings, furniture, and objects with distinguished provenance. This last section of the exhibition allows a small glance into Sheikh Saoud’s abundant wider collections and conveys a sense of his refined vision for constituting Qatar’s national museums.


Ceramics produced in Saint-Porchaire were highly prized by members of the royal court during the Renaissance. This ewer features the Bourbon coat of arms with three lilies, the monograms of Henri II of France (1519-1559), and three interlaced crescents, symbol of Diane of Poitiers (1499-1566), a French noblewoman and mistress of Henri II. The ewer once belonged to the countess Martine-Marie-Pol de Béhague (1869-1939), a famous French collector and patron in arts, whom Sheikh Saoud admired

France, Saint-Porchaire, 16th century
White lead-glazed earthenware inlaid with coloured clay
Qatar Museums, STM.DA.CE.0119


This wooden drum was produced by the Fang people, who live between Equatorial Guinea, northern Gabon and southern Cameroon. Its back has a wooden holder that was used when playing the instrument. The piece formerly belonged to collectors Helena Rubinstein (1872-1935) and Charles Ratton (1895-1986).

A wooden drum
Cameroon, M'bdonzok, Fang culture, 19th century
Carved and polished wood
Qatar Museums, STM.ET.VA.0006


This Patek Philippe watch, one of the most complex mechanical pocket watches ever produced, was commissioned in 1925 by banker, Henry Graves Jr. It was one of Sheikh Saoud’s most favoured pieces, acquired in 1999. Sheikh Saoud passed away on 9 November 2014, two days before the watch was due to be auctioned again.

The Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication watch
Patek Philippe & Co. Geneva
Geneva, 1925-1932
Gold appliques, steel mechanism and paint
Private Collection


Main image credit

The Orange Seller
Ludwig Deutsch (1855-1935)
Paris, signed and dated 1882
Oil on canvas
Orientalist Museum, OM.73