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Thread: References for Islamic Arms and Armor

  1. #1

    References for Islamic Arms and Armor

    This is a topic that certainly needs to be explored and expanded upon for any academic/collector of Islamic Art.

    In the 19th century there was Egertons ground breaking work "An Illustrated Book of Indian Arms" and the Tzar Tzelo collection, both of which are great references for any study of Islamic arms.


    In the 20th century came Mosers 1912 book, then then in 1934 Stones Glossary (a sort of bible for collectors).

    In the 1950's-60's we had Mosers catalog on the collection in Berne, Mayers," Islamic Armorer and their Marks". Robonsons "Oriental Armor" and Rawsons" The Indian Sword" both published in the Arms and armor series. Zaki's , '"Islamic Swords".

    1979 brought Elgoods "Islmaic Arms and Armor" to be followed by in the 1980's by Jacobs 'Les Arms Blanches du Monde islamique". Then the first book with really good photo's, 'Splendeur des Arms Orientales".

    Then the Polish collections started to be published with Stara Bron by Zygulski.

    At this point we are starting to get a feel for what is what.

    After this there are about twenty or so books on Islamic arms, some a general history and simply repeating what was said before, and some very good studies on Islamic Arms.

    There are specific books on steel, jewelry, decoration I have overlooked focusing on arms books.

    This go's to 1990,

  2. #2
    hi rand
    can you ore someone else tell me if also one ore more realy good reference books over indian arms at the market? i got a lot of books in my libary but i can`t find no one over indian swords (special rajashan , mughal, and maratha swords and weapons). the book hindu arms an ritual from elgood is verx good but you can´t find nothing ore not so much over khanda , kirach, and also patissa swords in it.
    maybe you can help me??
    stefan

  3. #3
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    If you can afford it, there's also "The Arts of War. Arms and Armour of the 7th to 19th centuries (The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, VOL XXI)" by David Alexander.

    By the way, who is the author of "Splendeur des Armes Orientales", I've looked it up on both abebooks and amazon without any results.

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    Rand, Thank you for posting this reading list. It gives people new to the sword scene a great place to start learning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by H. Gaballa View Post
    If you can afford it, there's also "The Arts of War. Arms and Armour of the 7th to 19th centuries (The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, VOL XXI)" by David Alexander.

    By the way, who is the author of "Splendeur des Armes Orientales", I've looked it up on both abebooks and amazon without any results.
    Hisham,

    That is an exhibition catalogue. An excellent one. I am afraid it is out of stock as it happenes to all books in this field.

    Kind regards
    Manouchehr

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the reply Manouchehr, hopefuly it will become available second-hand at some point. What was it an exhibition of and where?

  7. #7

    Books on Indian Arms

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Gerh View Post
    hi rand
    can you ore someone else tell me if also one ore more realy good reference books over indian arms at the market? i got a lot of books in my libary but i can`t find no one over indian swords (special rajashan , mughal, and maratha swords and weapons). the book hindu arms an ritual from elgood is verx good but you can´t find nothing ore not so much over khanda , kirach, and also patissa swords in it.
    maybe you can help me??
    stefan
    Hi Stefan,

    Indian arms is an immense field , will probably be quite some time until there will be a good group of books that will cover that topic well. India has diverse regions, religions, langauges and people. its more like a dozen countries than just one.

    In the mean time the best first book is Stones Glossary, get the 1961 printing as the pictures are much better than later reprints. The original 1934 copy you would not want to damage with use.



    Stones Glossary*
    The Indian Sword by Rawson*
    Indian Armours by Pant/Sharma*
    Persian Arms and Armor by Perski*
    On Damascus Steel by Figiel*
    Splendeur dus arms Orientales*
    Hindu Arms and Ritual by Elgood*
    Les Arms blanches du monde islamique by Jacob*
    Illustrated Handbook of Indian Arms by Eggerton*
    Indian Shield by Pant*
    Indian Arms and Armor Volumes I,II,III by Pant
    Arms and Armor of Muslim India by Haider*
    Orientail Arms and Armor by Robinson*
    Islamic Weapons by Tirri

    * books used often

    This would be a core group of arms and armor books to build on for reference on Indian Arms and Armor.

    rand

  8. #8
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    Some good books there, but a couple are outrageously expensive. They are books to borrow, not buy.

    http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/Bo...%3D67%26y%3D16
    http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/Bo...%3D73%26y%3D16

    And of course there is "Arms and Armor From Iran" by our very own Manouchehr Khorasani.

    An exhibition catalogue I would recommend is "Schatze Aus 1001 Nacht", although it does not have many pictures of armour, they are of high quality. The Museo Stibbert in Florence also does an excellent catalogue of Turkish armour (Numero 4, Turcherie). Once again the pictures are few in number, but of high quality.

  9. #9
    hi rand,
    thank you for these book list. all these books i got in my colection and some more. i wonder why isn`t at the india book market no one book over these kind of swords available. i know that the indian nation is not so old. in the past there are a many independence kingdoms and states. but special the weapons from the warrior "states" from rajasthan is such an wide field. you can find the best and most expensiv art weapons from india there. i can´t believe that there are no one reference book at the market. i ask also india book sellers in new dehli if they can help me. but they can´t also nothing find. i think, i must collect "some" more knowledge and good pictures and write my own book.
    stefan

  10. #10

    Reference Books

    Have to agree with you Stefan,

    Its really only been in tha last forty or so years that books on Islamic arms and armor have started being published.

    There certainly are more books and articles you can supplement your collection with.

    The biggest gap in information is from about 1500-1650. Could very well end up that in depth study of Indian arms helps fill that gap.

    Pants work is disallusioning and conspicuous, not sure why I am keep his books, must be the photo's. Certainly would be the last ones to pick up except for his work with Sharma,"Indian Armours".

    rand

  11. #11
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    Reference books

    In addition to the above list of titles I can add:

    "By my sword and shield" - traditional weapons of the Indian Warrior - by E.Jaiwant Paul (Roli books-Lotus collection)

    "Arms and Armour" - traditional weapons of India - by E.Jaiwant Paul (Lustre press- Roli books-2005) ISB 81-7436-340-8

    Both are basically the same book, and a reasonable amateur effort. The first one is a simple 1995 edition I picked up in Bangalore, but the second one is a nicely printed volume with excellent pictures. Most of those come from the National Museum at Delhi and are identical to some in Pant's latest books- no surprise there.

    BTW, when I visited the NM at Delhi again earlier this year, I found a rather interesting explanatory text on entering the A&A gallery. As photography was not allowed, and the text too long to copy, I went to the appropriate office to obtain a copy. The man in charge urged my to buy the appropriate guidebook to the gallery. On checking the text in my hotel, it was a different and far less interesting text... Oh well..

  12. #12

    Indian Decorative Metalwork References

    Hey Stefan,

    Here is a list of decotative art books relating to India.....

    Aziz, Abdul, Thrones, tents and their furniture used by the Indian Mughals, Lahore, n.d.
    Aziz, Abdul, The Imperial Treasury of the Indian Mughuls, reprint edition Jayyed Press, Delhi, 1972
    Aziz, Abdul, Arms and jewellery of the Indian Mughuls, Lahore, 1947

    Archer, M., C. Rowell and R. Skelton, Treasures from India: the Clive collection at Powis Castle, London, Herbert Press/National Trust, 1987

    Birdwood, Sir George, The Industrial Arts of India, London, 1880
    Birdwood, Sir George, The Arts of India as Illustrated in the Collections of HRH The Prince of Wales, London, 1881

    Born, W. 'Ivory powder flasks from the Mughal period', Ars Islamica, vol. IX, 1942, pp 93-111

    Brand, M. and G. Lowry, Akbar's India: Art from the Mughal City of Victory, New York, 1985

    Chandra, M. 'A brass jewel casket of Akbar-Jehangir period', Roopa Lekha, vol.II, no.3, 1940, pp.9-13
    Chandra, P. 'Two early Mughal metal cups', Bulletin of the Prince of Wales Museum, no. 5, Bombay, 1955-7, pp. 57-60

    Crill, Rosemary, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow, Arts of India: 1550-1900, London 1990 (repr. 1999)

    Delhi Museum Of Archaeology Loan Exhibition of Antiquities Coronation Durbar, 1911: An Illustrated Selection of the Principal Exhibits, Calcutta (1912)

    Digby, S. 'A corpus of "Mughal" glass', Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies,
    vol.VI, part 3, 1973
    Digby, S. 'The mother-of-pearl overlaid furniture of Gujarat: an Indian handicraft of the 16th and
    17th centuries', in R. Skelton et al., (eds.) Facets of Indian Art, London, 1986, pp 213-22

    Dikshit, M.G. History of Indian Glass, Bombay, 1969
    Dwivedi, V.P. Indian ivories, Delhi, 1976

    Egerton, W. An Illustrated Handbook of Indian Arms, London, 1888

    Elgood, Robert, Hindu Arms and Ritual: Arms and Armour from India 1400-1865, Leiden 2004
    Elgood, Robert, 'Mughal Arms and the Indian Court Tradition', in Beatriz Chadour-Sampson and Nigel Israel, eds, Jewelled Arts of Mughal India, Jewellery Studies vol. 10, 2004, pp. 76-98

    Hendley, T.H. Memorials of the Jeypore exhibition, London, 1883
    Hendley, T.H. Ulwar and its Art Treasures, London, 1988
    Hendley, T.H. Damascening on steel or iron, as practised in India, London, 1892
    Hendley, T.H. Indian Jewellery (vol. XII of the Journal of Indian Art and Industry), London

    Ivanov, A.A., V.G. Lukonin and L.S. Smesova, Yuvyelirniye izdyeliya vostoka (Oriental jewellery from the collection of the Special Treasury, the State Hermitage Oriental Department), Moscow, 1984

    Jacob, S.S. and T. H. Hendley, Jeypore Enamels, London, 1886

    Jenkins, M. and M. Keene, Islamic art in the Kuwait National Museum. The al-Sabah collection, London, 1983

    Koezuka, T. (ed. and translator into Japanese) The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts, Victoria and Albert Museum/NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993 (catalogue by S.Stronge and R. Crill; captions in English)

    Krishna, A. (ed.) Chhavi: Golden Jubilee Volume, Bharat Kala Bhavan, Varanasi, 1971
    Krishna, A. (ed.) Chhavi-2: Rai Krishnadasa Felicitation Volume, Bharat Kala Bhavan, Varanasi, 1981

    Lal, K. National Museum Collection. Bidri Ware, New Delhi, 1990

    Leth, André Islamic Arms and Armour from Private Danish Collections, Copenhagen, 1982

    London ( V&A) The Indian Heritage. Court Life and Arts under Mughal Rule, London, 1982

    Markel, S.(ed) The World of Jade, Marg Publications, Bombay, 1992
    Markel, S.(ed) W'estern Imports and the Nature of Later Indian Glassware' Asian Art, vol.VI/4 Fall
    1993, pp.34-59
    Markel, S.(ed) 'Non-Imperial Mughal Sources for Jades and Jade Simulants in South Asia', in Beatriz Chadour-Sampson and Nigel Israel, eds, Jewelled Arts of Mughal India, Jewellery Studies vol. 10, 2004, pp. 68-75

    Melikian-Chirvani, A.S. 'Studies in Hindustani metalwork: on some Sultanate stirrups', in
    C. Adle(ed.) Art et societé dans le monde Iranien, Paris, 1982
    Melikian-Chirvani, A.S. 'Islamic metalwork as a source on cultural history. Section II. The making of Islamic culture in India: the evidence of metalwork', Arts and the Islamic World, vol. I no. 1, 1982-3,
    pp 36-44, 78-80
    Melikian-Chirvani, A.S. 'Sa'ida-ye Gilani and the Iranian Style Jades of Hindustan', Bulletin of the Asia Institute, New Series/Volume 13, 1999, pp. 83-140

    Mukharji, T.N. Art Manufactures of India, Calcutta, 1888

    Pant, G.N. Catalogue of Edged Arms and Armour in the Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad, 1989

    Rawson, P. The Indian Sword, Copenhagen, 1967

    Riazuddin, A. History of Handicrafts. Pakistan-India, National Hijra Council, Pakistan, 1988

    Skelton, R. 'The Shah Jahan cup', Victoria & Albert Museum Bulletin, vol. II, no. 3, July 1966, pp. 109-10
    Skelton, R. 'The relations between the Chinese and Indian jade carving traditions', in Watson, W.,
    The westward influence of the Chinese arts from the 14th to the 18th century, Colloquies on
    Art and Archaeology in Asia, no. 3, London, University of London, 1972, pp. 98-110
    Skelton, R. (et al., eds.) Facets of Indian Art London, 1986

    Stronge, S. Bidri ware: inlaid metalwork from India, London, 1985
    Stronge, S. 'Colonel Guthrie's Collection. Jades of the Mughal Era', Oriental Art, volume XXXIX,
    No 4, Winter 1993-94 pp. 4-13
    Stronge, S. 'Gold and Silver in 16th and 17th Century Mughal India', in Vasallo e Silva, Nuno (ed.), A Heranca de Rauluchantim/The Heritage of Rauluchantim, Lisbon, 1996. pp.62-81
    Stronge, S. 'The Sublime Thrones of the Mughal Emperors of Hindustan', in in Beatriz Chadour-Sampson and Nigel Israel, eds, Jewelled Arts of Mughal India, Jewellery Studies vol. 10, 2004, pp. 52-67

    Taipei: National Palace Museum Catalogue of a special exhibition of Hindustan jade in the National Palace Museum, by Teng Shu-p'ing, trs. by D. M. Kamen, Taipei, 1983

    Vogel, J.P. Tile Mosaics of the Lahore Fort, Archaeological Survey of India, vol. 41, Calcutta

    Watt, G., Indian Art at Delhi, 1903, Calcutta, 1903

    Welch, S.C. The Art of Mughal India, New York, 1964
    Welch, S.C. India. Art and Culture 1300-1900, New York, 1985

    Wigington, R. The Firearms of Tipu Sultan 1783-1799, Hatfield, 1992

    Wilkinson, T.H. Indian Colonial Silver: European Silversmiths in India (1790-1910), London, 1973
    Wilkinson, T.H. The makers of Indian colonial silver: a register of European goldsmiths, silversmiths, jewellers, watchmakers and clockmakers in India and their marks 1760-1860, London, 1987

    Zebrowski, M. 'Decorative arts of the Mughal period', in Gray, B (ed) The Arts of India, London, 1981, pp. 177-89
    Zebrowski, M. 'Bidri: metalware from the Islamic courts of India', Art East, no 1, 1982, pp 26-9
    Zebrowski, M. Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandra Press, London, 1997

    Good Hunting,

    rand

  13. #13
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    Rand,

    I am making this thread sticky for future reference. Thanks gentlemen for your input.

    Kind regards
    Manouchehr

  14. #14

    decorative arts of the ottoman times?

    Rand, what a fantastic list of books for someone with interest in Indian arms....
    Do you have the same sort of list for the study of ottoman decorative arts? Looking for books like "tulips arabesques and turbans"and "ottoman art in the service of the empire".
    I hope you have all that somewhere saved, and that i am not making you type a long list!
    Thanks in advance,
    EFtihis

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by eftihis View Post
    Rand, what a fantastic list of books for someone with interest in Indian arms....
    Do you have the same sort of list for the study of ottoman decorative arts? Looking for books like "tulips arabesques and turbans"and "ottoman art in the service of the empire".
    I hope you have all that somewhere saved, and that i am not making you type a long list!
    Thanks in advance,
    EFtihis

    Eftihis,

    "Tulips, Arabesques and Turbans" is one of the few books that have the signatures of the sultans that you can use to help indentify a time period of a weapon either by signture on blade or a silver or gold stamp.

    There are books that are only list of books published on Islamic metalwork, these are about 600 pages(amazing huh).

    Now as to the books that are only relevant that is the real question. Its such a large subject that after you get your basic understanding, you need to decide what area to research and what areas to decide based on others research.

    For example, I have decided not to study metallurgy, prefer to get my understanding of that topic by reading the studies of a few authors and am content with a general knowledge. Think of it like a General selecting who to do what work (remember your the General).

    For determining a dating chronology have found the study of related art, technique and design more useful. metalworking techniques for the application of decoration are getting close to being organized in a systematical manner that will assist in the dating of when a metal was appiled. There is a definate change in the manner and style of metal application on overlayed gold/silver and various inlay techniques. There are also definate time periods of high or low availablity of metals. Add to that the influence from one culture to another where the designs are datable via ceramic and textile designs of the period.

    Now some people prefer the flavor of history, they will gleen from the travel works. Must say these studies get more appealing all the time to me.

    Rather like the book you mentioned....

    rand

  16. #16
    If you a have a big list of books that you could suggest, i would prefer to guide us to books to study as you say, the related art, techniques and design. For example in your previous posts you made an age judgement based on metalworking techniques and the type of inlay on ottoman swords. What is the reference for that?
    Another great (but expensive) reference is the "ottoman silver marks" of Garo Kurkman.

  17. #17

    Books on Persian Arms

    Hello Eftihis,

    For a general group of books to add the study of Persian arms would suggest the following:

    Revue des Etudes Islamiques 1982

    Arts of Asia
    The Sword of Islam
    May-June 1979

    Persian Steel
    The Tanavoli Collection
    Allan & Gilmour

    Early Mediaevil Islamic Arms and Armor
    David Nicolle

    Persian Arms and Armor
    Orez Perski

    Les Arms Orientales
    Lebedynsky

    Butterfield Catalog
    The Dr Leo S Figiel Collection of Mogul Arms

    On Damascus Steel
    Leo Fiegel

    Islamic Arms and Armor
    Eldgood

    Arms and Armor form Iran
    Khorasani

    Note this list is Persian only*

    This is a general selection of books relating to Persian arms and armor.

    Reguarding the judgement of metalworking techniques and type its based on a work in progress including about twenty fives years of studying Islamic metalwork under low power magnification. Is very little published reguarding this and is one area would like to cover in a book. There is a datable style of progression in basic metalworking techniques used over the centuries, availability of materials and styles of decoration used on arms.

    Have a detailed book list typed out am trying find that includes all books and articles, will update when I find it.

    Knowing the change of geography for empires over the centuries is another valuable bit of information that helps explain transition of style and decoration. Its such a complex subject that needs to be dealt with in small sections or you will lose yourself in generalities.

    rand

  18. #18
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    I would like to recommend another book: "L'Art des chevaliers en pays d'Islam" edited by Bashir Mohamed. This is an exhibition catalogue of items from the Furusiyya Foundation's collection of arms and armour. It has almost 400 beautiful pictures of Turkish, Iranian, Indian and Mamluk arms and armour from the 9th to the 17th century.

    Here's a link to the book:
    http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/Bo...%3D60%26y%3D11

    The exhibition itself is now in Nice.
    http://www.imarabe.org/temp/expo/furusiyya.html

    It is also due to be published in English late next year.

  19. #19
    Yes, i ve gotv this, its a fantastic quality book the quality of the photos is great and also the selection of the items. But my French are no so good, i am waiting for the english edition...

  20. #20
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    Fyi

    HI all, FYI a book is currently being put together on the Study and Conservation of Indian arms and Armour. It will have a number of contributions from scholars in the field. I do not know when it is due to be out (particulary as I have not yet finished my part! ). So a few years I guess. (Thats published, not how long it will take me to finish!)
    Dr. Ann

  21. #21
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    I am looking for a good reference book related to Indian swords and other weapons. I am wondering if Anthony C. Tirri's book Islamic Weapons: Maghrib to Moghul is recommended. Thanks for your thoughts.

  22. #22
    Hey Neil,

    Getting all the books you can is a wise investment when starting to collect, its a fascinating study that can easily occupy a lifetime. Tirris' book is much too general, has photo's that are difficult to study and more of a desk top art book. Elgood on the other hand, has extremely well researched information that you can go back to over and over. Is there an area in particular you first wish to explore?

    rand

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the response. I primarily collect antique Chinese swords, as well as western military swords. I have ample reference material related to these categories, but I have acquired a couple of tulwar recently that have moved me to a new branch of study. I appreciate the Elgood suggestion, but it seems quite expensive. Could you suggest some other credible literature on the subject that is easier to come by.
    Thanks again

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