The Solid Ivory Candlestand

It was a single overwhelming moment, coming face to face with an unpretentious exhibit inside the Nehru Gallery of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which forever altered Marc Matz's course and career. The object: a solid ivory candlestand, the sublime product of Anglo-Indian culture. From that moment, after having already been in the antiques trade for nearly twenty years, Matz decided to exclusively collect the lavish and exotic products from early Colonial India. Since that time, his collections have encompassed the trade routes: from meticulous inlaid 17th century Indo-Portuguese cabinets, to richly carved ebony chairs made for the Dutch V.O.C. in Ceylon, ivory furniture from the British period, as well as fine examples of the decorative arts from the China Trade.

Matz went on to exhibit Colonial Indian and China Trade antiques, at the prestigious vetted, New York "Eastside House" Winter Antiques show for twelve years, from 1993 through 2004, as well as the Boston Ellis Memorial Antique Show during the same period.

Over the years, Matz has sold many important works to museum collections including:  the Peabody-Essex Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Carnegie Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Boston Museum of Fine Arts, to mention a few.

It was Matz’s close affiliation with the Peabody Essex Museum, which was to become a partnership of shared inspiration and excitement. Among the many examples from Matz's collection to be acquired by the PEM was an important 18th century Indian ivory carving of a European gentleman, a pair of early Indian ivory inlaid baroque sidechairs, and the singular most important painting of an Indian subject by an American artist: Rembrandt Peale's 1833 portrait of Raja Rammahoun Roy.

For Matz, his greatest achievement, during his long career, has been his significant support of scholarship in the field of Colonial Indian decorative arts, especially Amin Jaffer's research at the Victoria & Albert Museum, which culminated in the publication of Furniture From British India and Ceylon in 2001, the first comprehensive study on the subject, which was financed in large part by Matz.

Today, his wide interests in design and decorative arts take life in his seasonal gallery in Newcastle, Maine.