The Collection

The Bumiller Collection comprises over 6000 objects from the 7th to the 13th century, among them the world’s largest collection of early Islamic bronzes. An important assemblage of ceramics, glass, manuscripts, stone and ivory carvings as well as coins complement the spectrum of early Islamic Art.

The objects are mostly from the Iranian region, which includes the present countries of Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan as well as northern India. They enable a fascinating insight into the medieval world along the Silk Road. Objects from Syria, Egypt and Moorish Spain complement the collection. They afford a comprehensive overview of the artisanal work of the Islamic world. Writing instruments, medical and cosmetic tools but also objects of daily life such as oil lamps, incense burners, cauldrons, jugs, locks all the way to mirrors, amulets and jewellery belonged to the basic inventory of a then household.

Helmet, BC-6.153, Bronze with Silver and Copper Inlays, Iran or Afghanistan, 15th century or later Details


Long-Necked Bottles, BC-5.218, Glas, (north-eastern) Iran, 9/10 C.Details

Glas Bottels Ensemble

Oillamp with Six Flames, BC-5.988, Bronze, Balkh (Afghanistan), 13th C.Details

Oillamp with Six Flames

Star-Shaped Deer-Tile, BC-4.161, Ceramic, Kashan (Iran), 13th C.Details

Star-shaped Deer-Tile

Rose-Water Blaster, BC-5.829, Bronze with Turquoise Inlays, (north-east) Afghanistan, 9/10th C.Details

Rose-Water Blaster

BOWL, BC-0.140, Ceramics, Nishapur (Iran), 10th-11th C.Details

Bull-headed Jug

Lampstand, BC-6.255, Bronze, Herat (Afghanistan), 11/12th C.Details


Floral and abstract ornaments as well as pictures of flora and fauna show a rich repertoire of décor, which was implemented partly in sophisticated metallurgical methods. Many examples of the manufacture and décor techniques such as repoussé, chasing and damascening exemplify the high standard of eastern artistic work.
The entire collection is on display in typologically order. In the foreground is the presentation of all the objects, be they novel or rare. In this way the never or rare published objects are accessible, the study of which may close some art history knowledge gaps in the research of Islamic metallurgy.