The Foundation's prized Antiquity Collection includes a large number of coins of ancient India, paintings, bronzes and stone sculptures, terracotta's, wood carvings, erotica, textile, beads, photo archives and rare books.
The Antiquity Collection was formally launched on 15th October 2015 at the World Trade Centre, Mumbai in the presence of the Governor, Maharashtra and other distinguished guests.
The objective of the Antiquity Collection is to provide opportunities for research and education, while advancing the knowledge of India's glorious culture and heritage.
The Foundation's Coin Collection is a premier numismatic collection of the period 600 BC to 600 AD. The Collection's world renowned coins were on display for the public from 16th-18th October, 2015 at World Trade Centre. The Satavahana collection was showcased at Amravati in the presence of Prime Minister, CM of A.P. and other dignitaries.
Coins play a significant role in understanding and reconstructing history. They also confirm and substantiate the history known from other sources. This Collection is claimed to be better than the coin collection of the National Museum for the said period in copper and silver. Some coin series are probably the most comprehensive known anywhere like Satavahana dynasty (150 BC to 250 AD).
The Collection has punch-marked Mudras, the earliest known coins of India, and is amongst the best known in India. Most of the coins from 600 BC to 600 AD are in silver, copper, lead, potin (a mixture of cobalt, tin and arsenic) and gold fanams.
It also highlights another dynasty Western Kshatrapas (1st to 5th AD) which is known through its coinage only and is amongst the earliest dated coins of India. There are local, tribal, monarchical and city issues in large numbers. Some dynasties represented in the collection are Magadha, Kasi, Kosala, Kuru, Panchala, Surasena, Avanti, Gandhara, Chandraketugadh, Sakyas, Mauryas, Hunas, Abhiras, Anandas, Pandyas, Gauda, Valabhi, the later Guptas, Yadavas of Devagiri, Kalachuris etc.
Figurines in bronze and sculptures in stone of gods and goddesses and animals in the Collection represent other aspects of the ancient art of India, along with terracottas and wood carvings.
The photo archives in the Collection are a valuable record of Indian art and coinage with photographs from private collections, museums, temples and archeological sites taken painstakingly over decades. Together, they provide a rich documentary archive for researchers and practitioners of art history and heritage preservation. This has been subject matter of continuing PhD research.
The Collection comprises of more than 5000 rare books that include periodicals, journals and catalogues on all aspects of ancient and modern Indian Art. There are books on History, Archaeology, Art and Architecture, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Religion, Philosophy, Sociology, Iconography, Sculptural Art, Modern Art, Performing Arts, Heritage and Erotica available that are well-preserved.
The objective of the Hinduja Foundation in developing its Antiquity Collection is to advance knowledge of India's glorious cultural heritage and to provide opportunities for research and education to historians and students from across the world.
Through the years the Foundation has given a number of grants to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC to support its international cultural exhibits and learning programmes.
In the early 1990s, the Foundation contributed and supported the establishment of the Nehru Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
In 2005, the Foundation was a major donor to the Persia Exhibition with the Iran Heritage Foundation at the British Museum – this brought together the largest number of Persian artefacts and paintings ever assembled outside Iran.
The Foundation commissioned the legendary Indian painter, MF Hussain, to create a series of paintings titled 'Theorama' in 1994.
Two paintings were exhibited at the United Nations' headquarters in October in 1995 on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. In 1999, Tony Blair, Britain's then Prime Minister adopted the series as his pledge for a better and more peaceful world.
The Hinduja Foundation sponsored the publication of the first Encyclopedia of Hinduism which was launched by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.The encyclopaedia, prepared over 25 years by 2,000 scholars, gives a comprehensive perspective of our ancient way of life and culture that has its roots going back thousands of years.
The Hinduja Foundation launched the Millennium Pledge in a series of initiatives to celebrate the new Millennium. It aimed to bring about greater understanding and the removal of prejudices amongst communities, religions, sects and nations.
Furthermore, in support of the UK's Government Millennium Dome exhibition, the Hinduja Foundation contributed to the Faith Zone, and also brought together all other major faiths to support the Zone.
lSKCON Hinduja Glory of lndia Vedic Cultural Centre, New Delhi, a state-of-the-art multimedia exhibition on Indian Vedic culture.
The Foundation donated to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness Temple in Hertfordshire, the Swami Narayan Temple in Northwest London and the Venkateswara Balaji temple outside Birmingham.
The Centre for India-US Education was established in New York, in cooperation with Asia Society to strengthen India-US understanding through educational activities.
The Hinduja Foundation supported the start-up of the US Chapter of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and donated premises for their activities in the memory of Shri P. D. Hinduja.
The Foundation has taken a keen interest in encouraging creative and performing arts, especially efforts which help improve multicultural understanding.
Peter Brook's renowned theatrical production on the famous Indian epic by the same name.
Encouraging greater interfaith understanding at the time of Diwali at Alexandra Palace, 1999, with former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
The Hinduja Foundation is a founder member of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and has donated over 1 million Euros over four years.