Indian miniatures were being collected in Europe as early as the first half of the seventeenth century. One of the collectors was Rembrandt, who made copies of a number of Mughal miniatures. This is what induced Lugt to acquire his first original miniature in 1921. Since then a collection has been created in which the principal schools are represented, providing a rounded picture of four centuries of Indian painting.
The small collection of portrait miniatures is of high quality and includes work by the best practitioners of the genre, among whom the English take pride of place. All the various miniature techniques are represented. These are modest but very beautiful objects. A superb example is the delicate portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger, one of the first specialists in the field.
At the Hôtel Turgot, visitors can also consult the collection of old books. This reveals the quality of the publications produced in the Low Countries from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. There is a particular emphasis on illustrated works of the seventeenth century.
At exhibitions paintings and drawings from the collection are often presented in authentic frames, which gives them an added cachet. The Frits Lugt Collection contains about 1,000 original frames from different periods and countries.
The collection of blue and white porcelain provides an overview of the porcelain brought to the Netherlands by the East India Company from its foundation in 1602 until late in the eighteenth century.
Frits Lugt also collected a number of objects from antiquity which form a relatively small part of the collection. They consist mainly of Roman glass, Greek vases and Egyptian artefacts of the XVIIIth to XXth Dynasties.