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N. G. McBurney

About N. G. McBurney

I focus on early printing and manuscripts of the Islamic world, from Granada to Singapore, defined as broadly and inclusively as possible. Objects handled might include early Qur’an fragments from the 9th century, 19th-century Urdu editions of Ghalib’s poetry printed in India, an Arabic-language newspaper published in New York in the early 20th century by Arab immigrants, the folk tales of Molla Nasreddin, or the amuletic miniature Qur’ans printed by David Bryce at Glasgow as Queen Victoria’s reign drew to an end. The transmission of art, knowledge, and culture between East and West is a particular interest, whether that be the translation of Greek texts into Arabic under Harun al-Rashid or early European attempts to translate and print the Qur’an in the 16th and 17th centuries.

I buy and sell material of the sort described above. I prefer the rare and the unusual, whether that be a quirky manuscript Qur’an copied at Istanbul in the 16th century or an otherwise unknown example of 19th-century lithography. The provincial is often of as much interest to me as the princely, provided there is a compelling story to be found. My focus is on books and manuscripts, but I have worked with visual material, including prints, drawings, watercolours, and photographs and am always happy to consider examples which relate to my interests.

My experience ranges from individual objects to collections containing thousands of items: I have placed material with significant private and institutional collections, and even sold Eton College the oldest object now in their College Library, a single vellum leaf from a 9th-century Qur’an manuscript written in Kufic script.

I issue occasional lists and catalogues. I am also happy to discuss your specific interests and explore new areas. If any of the above strikes a chord, feel free to send me an email.

N. G. McBurney Specialises In

  • Early printing and manuscripts from the Islamic world
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N. G. McBurney

Nicholas McBurney
9b Offley Road
London SW9 0LR
United Kingdom
Email address:

Hours of Operation

By Appointment

Catalogues from N. G. McBurney