Ballard, James Franklin (1851-1931)
Ballard was a pharmaceutical manufacturer who collected many 18 and 19 Century Anatolian prayer rugs. At least 6 catalogs of his collection were published. One authored by Maurice S. Diamond. He gave valuable collections og oriental rugs to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York. And the St. Louis Art Museum in 1929.
Ballard traveled the world in search of art to buy, but most especially rugs. He started collecting rugs in 1905 He traveled over 470,000 miles through Southeast Asia, China, the Caucasus Mountains, India, Northern Africa, the Middle East, and all over Europe. His travels found him in Egypt during the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. He was briefly imprisoned by the Greek government, and witnessed the Great Fire of Smyrna (now Izmir).
The earliest of Ballard’s rugs are from the 10th century. In 1922 Ballard presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a collection of 126 oriental rugs that at the time was valued at half a million dollars. Later he brought an additional two rugs, one of which featured the coat of arms of Tamerlane, the founder of the Timrod. He also gave a substantial collection of rugs to the Saint Louis Art Museum.