About Us

About Hinduja Heritage

At the core of the bequest to the Hinduja Foundation is a large number of coins from ancient India. Paintings, bronzes and stone sculptures, terracottas, wood carvings, erotica, textiles and beads also form a substantial part of the collection. These antiquities are of historical interest and are illustrative of the art, craft, literature, science, religion and customs of a bygone era.

About Hinduja Heritage

About Hinduja Heritage Collection

The most extensive collection of India's glorious history and culture.

The Lance Dane coin collection is one of the foremost numismatic collections of the period 600 BCE to 600 CE, with most of the coins in silver, copper, lead and potin metal.

The collection features a comprehensive set of punch-marked coins (India's earliest known coinage) that's among the best known in the country. There is a good number of imperial silver punch-marked, as well as certain local Janapada punch-marked issues from Magadha, Kasi, Kosala, Kuru, Panchala, Surasena, Avanti, Gandhara, Chandraketugarh and Sakyas.

There's also a large number of local, tribal, monarchical and city issues from the post-Mauryan period. Other coins are related to Abhiras, Anandas, Pandyas, Vallabhi, Guptas the later Guptas, Yadavas of Devagiri, Kalachuris and South Indian dynasties.

Some coin series are probably the most comprehensive that we know of anywhere, like the Satavahana Dynasty (150 BCE to 250 CE) and the Western Kshatrapas (first to fifth century CE) which are amongst the earliest dated coins of India.

Formative Stage
Mature Stage
Terminal Stage in punch-marked coinage

Sculptures of gods, goddesses and animals in bronze and stone in the collection represent other aspects of the ancient arts of India. Lance Dane also collected Indian erotica to highlight moksha, the ultimate aim of Hindu life, attained through dharma, artha and kama. And the photo archives here are a valuable record of Indian art and coinage photographed by Lance Dane across India and abroad, including from private collections, museums and trade.

The collection has been a subject of continuing PhD research and is a fount of historical information that can be used for exhibitions to create awareness and appreciation of Indian heritage for students, scholars and the community at large.

Our Mission


  • Our collection is being curated by a leading archival services firm.
  • We are using state-of-the-art collections management software to securely store, document and access all details related to the objects. The aim is to improve ease of access to researchers and members of the public, on request.
  • A data center with high-end servers has been established to host the website and the collections management software.


  • We envisage building a state-of-the-art facility to display the collection, with interactive tools, like touchscreens that offer the genealogy of each object; audio tours; documents like letters, papers, records etc., newsreel, films and documentaries; links to the website; and information on related arts and artefacts from the collection.
  • We plan to set up a library and archive for the use of researchers, scholars and students.


  • As a continuation of the Hinduja Foundation's long-standing commitment to the promotion and study of Indian art and culture across the globe, we hope to take our antiquities collection to new venues and audiences through partnerships.
  • We will continue to partner with universities and other academic bodies for research on numismatics and the heritage of India.
  • We will create catalogues and other publications to deepen our understanding of our antiquities collection.

Lance Dane and The Hinduja Foundation

Former army officer, dedicated art-seeker, and prodigious art collector, Lance Dane first came to the attention of the Hinduja Foundation through an acquaintance with Paul Abraham, who is also a lifetime collector and numismatist besides being President of the Foundation and advisor at IndusInd Bank. Brought together by their love for Indian antiquities, Lance and Paul spent hours together talking about the former’s incredible journey of collecting artefacts from all over the Subcontinent. With support from Ramesh Sobti, Managing Director at IndusInd Bank, and Paul, Lance’s collection was validated by Dr Shailendra Bhandare, Curator of South Asian and Far-eastern Coins and Paper Money at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University.

A proposal was brought to the Hinduja Foundation by IndusInd Bank to take on the role of preserving Lance’s collection for the education of the public and encouraging research into the ancient heritage of India. It was approved by the trustees of Hinduja Foundation, as part of their longstanding commitment to the promotion of arts and culture across the globe.

An agreement was formally executed between the Hinduja Foundation and Lance Dane, where he gifted the collection unconditionally to the Foundation. With the assistance of IndusInd Bank, the collection was gradually transferred into safe custody. The Hinduja Foundation Antiquity Committee was established under the overall supervision of the Board of Trustees of the Hinduja Foundation as part of this formal agreement to preserve the collection for the dissemination of knowledge in the public domain. Lance served as the founder member of the Committee. Today, the Hinduja Foundation Antiquities Committee consists of Raju Bhatt, Dr Shailendra Bhandare, Paul Abraham, Dr Prakash Kothari and Dr Arvind Jamkhedkar.

About Lance Dane

Lance Dane as a young soldier Lance Dane as a young soldier. Photo courtesy: Noel Rands

Englishman and former army soldier, Lt. Col. Lance Dane, lived in India since its Independence, pursuing his passion of quietly collecting and building an invaluable archive of information and artefacts over nearly 56 years. The word 'quietly' befits Lance well — at the time of his death, his bequest to the Hinduja Foundation included a staggering collection of 35,000 ancient Indian coins ranging broadly from 600 BCE to 600 CE. In addition, there were a few thousand books, a unique collection of bronzes, erotica and hundreds of other artefacts.

The collection also includes photographs of museums and private collections, monuments, temples and archaeological sites, all collected in his methodical manner. Spanning the length and breadth of India, they were gathered painstakingly over decades of extensive travelling. Together, they provide a rich documentary archive for researchers and practitioners of art history and heritage preservation.

Lance Dane was born in Nottinghamshire, England in 1923, and moved to India when he was around six years old. His father was an officer in the Sherwood Foresters, and a young Lance grew up around cultured, educated family friends, many of whom were Indians.

In 1940 at the age of 17, Lance got a war commission in the British Army and played his part in the Second World War, spending time in Burma among other places. He served in the Royal Artillery of the British Army until 1947 — the year when India became an independent nation — and was given the option of returning to Britain, which he accepted. But his love for India was so great that he came back, this time for good.

Little is known of his early years in India, but Lance seems to have worked at a pharmaceutical company before moving to Madras and trying his luck as an advertising professional with Grant Advertising. By this time, he was already a talented photographer and the lovingly-preserved early photographs in his collection reflect his exceptional eye in capturing commercial products. He also moonlighted as an actor in Madras and Pune in the 1980s, and then much, much later in the 2001 Bollywood blockbuster Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India shot in Gujarat. Lance had a guest appearance in the film, and his dear friend Noel Rands played a British umpire.

His friends remember Lance as a private man who was exceedingly kind and loved his close ones deeply. In his diary, Lance wrote, "I feel good when I know and experience love and affection. They are great human foundations to be grasped, enjoyed, shared and remembered — it's a great experience. I think the best in us comes out when we are surrounded by affection, nothing else is like it."

Lance Dane passed away suddenly on May 16, 2012, succumbing to a long and bravely fought battle with illness, but lucid to the end and determined always that his collection be a showcase of the wondrous heritage of ancient India.

Lance, for your incredible bequest, for leaving us this legacy and showing us the way to learning, we remain grateful always

Lance Dane and Noel Rands on the sets of Lagaan: Once upon a time in India (c.2001) Photo: Satessh Gupta



Nehru Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London
In the early 1990s, the Foundation contributed to and supported the establishment of the Nehru Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


Theorama by M.F. Husain
The Foundation commissioned legendary Indian painter M.F. Husain to create a series of paintings titled 'Theorama' in 1994. Two of these paintings were exhibited at the United Nations' headquarters in October 1995 on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. In 1999, Britain's then Prime Minister Tony Blair adopted the series as his pledge for a better, more peaceful world.


Persia exhibition at the British Museum in London
In 2005, the Foundation was a major donor to the Persia Exhibition with the Iran Heritage Foundation at the British Museum, which brought together the largest number of Persian artefacts and paintings ever assembled outside of Iran.


Encyclopedia of Hinduism and documentation of coin collection by INHCRF
The Hinduja Foundation sponsored the publication of the first Encyclopedia of Hinduism which was launched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Prepared over 25 years by 2,000 scholars, the encyclopaedia offers a comprehensive perspective of our ancient culture and way of life whose roots go back thousands of years. The Foundation also carried out documentation of coin collection by INHCRF Nasik, starting in October 2014 up until June 2018.


Book Launch and Exhibition, World Trade Centre, Mumbai
On 15th October 2015, The Foundation launched the book Ancient Coins of India, The Lance Dane Bequest. Through this book, we see a glimpse of the Lance Dane collection comprising 34,907 coins of ancient India and other rare artefacts which he donated to the Hinduja Foundation. The Foundation also hosted an exhibition on Ancient Coins of India from 16th to 17th October 2015 at World Trade Centre, Mumbai, and an exhibition on Coins of the Andhra region in Amravathi, Andra Pradesh on 22nd – 24th October 2015.

March 2016 - October 2017

Documentation of Antiquities by the late Dr. Shridhar Andhare
Dr Shridhar Andhare, former curator at CSMVS, Mumbai completed preliminary documentation work on the bronzes, wooden objects, paintings, sculptures, terracottas, manuscripts and seals & sealings of the collection.


Joint Exhibition on coins of Satavahana dynasty at RBI Monetary Museum, Mumbai
The RBI hosted a joint exhibition with the Foundation on coins of the Satavahana dynasty on 9th October- 9th December 2018 at RBI Monetary Museum, Mumbai.


Srichand P. Hinduja
Srichand P. Hinduja Chairman
Shri. Gopichand P. Hinduja
Shri. Gopichand P. HindujaCo-Chairman
Shri. Prakash P. Hinduja
Shri. Prakash P. Hinduja Chairman Europe
Shri. Ashok P. Hinduja
Shri. Ashok P. HindujaChairman India
Ms. Sarita Hinduja
Mrs. Sarita Hinduja
Harsha A. Hinduja
Harsha A. Hinduja