Turkey, Istanbul(?), Turkman style, ca. 1500 -1525 Steel, Iron, gold, copper alloys © Metropolitan Museum of Art

Islamic Arms and Armor in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Islamic Arms and Armour were early on prestigious symbols of status, wealth, and power. Important collections may be found all over Europe, but some of the objects in the Met surpass most of these. New book presents the collection beautifully.

Islamic Arms and Armor in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
By David G. Alexander, With contributions by Stuart W. Pyhrr and Will Kwiatkowski
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press 2016
ISBN: 9781588395702

ABSTRACT:

Islamic arms and armour coverFrom its origins in the 7th century, armor and weaponry were central to Islamic culture not only as a means of conquest and the spread of faith, but also as symbols of status, wealth, and power. More than 120 exceptional examples from the renowned collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art are presented in detail to demonstrate the remarkable craftsmanship and beauty of Islamic arms and armor.
These diverse objects, which have never been catalogued or published in detail, span ten centuries and represent nearly every Islamic culture, from Spain to the Caucasus. Among these masterpieces are rare early works, such as the oldest documented Islamic sword, and fine examples of decorated helmets and body armor from late-15th-century Iran and Anatolia.
Also included are lavish gem-studded weapons from royal courts in the Ottoman world and India. Each piece is handsomely photographed, with a detailed discussion of its technical, historical, and artistic importance. Made by master artisans in conjunction with leading designers, goldsmiths, and jewelers, these stunning objects demonstrate how utilitarian military equipment could be transformed into striking and extravagant works of art.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

David G. Alexander is an independent scholar specializing in Islamic arms. Stuart W. Pyhrr is distinguished research curator in the Department of Arms and Armor at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

FEATURED PHOTO:

Turkey, Istanbul(?), Turkman style, ca. 1500 -1525. Steel, Iron, gold, copper alloys © Metropolitan Museum of Art