Collectors: 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,...

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