The L.A. Mayer Institute for Islamic Art
The museum was established in 1974 and is located in the Katamon district near the Jerusalem Theater. The museum houses a collection of Islamic art including pottery, textiles, jewelry, ceremonial objects and has the impressive David Salomons watches and clocks collection.
In 1983 200 items, including paintings and dozens of rare clocks and watches, were stolen when the museum was burgled. Amoung the items stolen was ‘Marie Antoinette’ watch and the crown jewel of the watch collection, made by the famed French-Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet reputedly for Queen Marie Antoinette, and estimated to be worth $30 million.
The museum has nine galleries organized in chronological order which explore art of Islamic civilization. The museum also houses antique chess pieces, dominoes and playing cards; daggers, swords, helmets, textiles, jewelry, glassware and pottery produced in Islamic countries, from Spain to India. A collection of Islamic carpets was added in 1999.The museum was founded by Vera Bryce Salomons the daughter of Sir David Lionel Salomons in memory of her professor Leo Aryeh Mayer who was rector of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a scholar of Islamic art who died in 1959.