Dalya Islam, Head of Collections at Lymited talks to us about what would be in her dream collection. Dalya Islam is Head of Collections at Lymited, the new digital destination to buy, sell and share exclusive pieces. Dalya has lent her expert opinion to BBC World, The Economist, The Financial Times, Contemporary Practices and Monocle, to name a few. She has participated in global educational programmes, panel discussions and has lectured on a range of topics, from the art market to the history of collecting; plus nominated artists for the Sovereign European Art Prize.
Hi Dalya, We love the concept of Lymited, tell us about yourself and how you came to work with the company.
Hi HB, thank you. We love you too, you’ve been a supporter of Lymited since the start.
For many years I have operated within the art world, starting my career at Sotheby’s as a specialist, then set up my own consultancy through which I worked with galleries, art fairs, private collectors and artists. One of Lymited’s two founders, Ryan Howsam, is an old client of mine. When he and Romane approached me to run the Collections side I was intrigued by the scope of their vision, especially when it came to Tokenisation.
Whilst I am an art lover, I have always valued a broad expression of culture and creativity. To me, the marriage of form and function is the ultimate expression of human passion because it is both practical and beautiful. The balance of a fine wine, the engineering of a watch, the outline of a ceramic, the tailoring of a beautiful suit, these are all expressions of human ingenuity. Lymited gave me the opportunity to explore all this through the eyes and expertise of our specialist team, which is second to none.
Can you tell us more about how Lymited works for the user?
At Lymited we marry the ease of technology with a private advisory service. Our experts carefully select everything we carry, from the ultra-rare, like our military Rolex watch from the 1950s, to the most feted up-and-coming young designers like Miss Sohee who will be part of our exciting new Ready To Wear offering launching soon.
Everything has been chosen with care by an industry insider. The platform carries rich imagery and what we call the “Why We Love It,” a short and informative essay by one of our specialists. As well our experts are on hand to answer any questions. You can always “Talk To An Expert” whether you have a question on investability, provenance or choice paralysis!
How would you recommend starting to invest in collectibles and rare luxury items?
From a practical perspective I would say… make some money!! Joking aside, the rarest items are by their nature extremely valuable, but collectibles are broad ranging. Knowing what makes something “collectible’ is the key. That is why we offer our advisory service. We know how crucial context and provenance are. The value of a collectible lies more in its rich history, its craftsmanship and in the demands of its market, than in the raw material. That is specialist knowledge and requires the expertise of someone who has immersed themselves in their industry for years. It is also why we are offering Tokens, which is so exciting for me. Making something inaccessible, that is incredibly expensive, valuable and rare, accessible to the best custodians: passionate collectors and investors.
What do you invest in Dayla?
I invest in art. But for pleasure, I buy jewellery, design, fashion and wine. Those are my poisons. Our Head of Watches, James Gurney, said it brilliantly when he advised our Instagram followers to “go for what you love.” It’s absolutely true. When I have bought something purely for investment, I have always regretted it. Collecting is a sensual experience, it should stimulate more than your mind.
What would be in your dream collection?
My collection would be all over the place. I would have an Egon Schiele for sure, Gandharan sculpture, Northern Renaissance painting, ideally Cranach the Elder, Ottoman ceramics, I would have an Aztec relief panel, I would definitely have a Dan Flavin light sculpture, a Han dynasty jade burial suit, a medieval Book of Hours, preferably the Duc de Berry’s, a Mamluk mosque lamp, a Korean moon jar, something by Takashi Murakami and a Rothko. Plus other things. I am not a cheap date. Alas.
Thanks Dalya, we’re looking forward to the next collections!