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The Arts of War: Arms and Armour of the 7th to 19th centuries


Published 1992

David Alexander

The arms and armour in the Collection range in date from the 7th to 19th centuries. Particularly important, however, are a group of belt fittings from the medieval period which convey the role of ceremony among the military classes of the Islamic world.

Display was also a major factor behind the creation of the Collection’s two sets of elaborate horse trappings from the 13th and 14th centuries, one of which includes a complete gold saddle.

Among the most dramatic items is a 15th-century war mask, which still inspires a sense of awe, and the impressive array of horse chamfrons includes the only known example from Sultanate India. The descriptions are supplemented by a section on the inscriptions and drawings of details and arsenal marks.

The presentation avoids the strictly typological classification of most previous works on the subject, and aims to give a full sense of the panoply of warfare: the stirrup, the drum, the talismanic shirt, and the banner were as important to the Muslim warrior as the sword and the mail shirt.

About the author(s)

David Alexander – Former Research Associate, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; specialist in Islamic arms and armour


240 pages; fully illustrated in colour; several line drawings, section on documentary inscriptions; hardback with dust jacket (slipcased); 36 x 26 cm; 1992; ISBN 1-874780-61-7



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