This spectacular collection of nearly 200 jeweled weapons and priceless accoutrements from the Indian subcontinent was assembled over many decades by Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussah al-Sabah for The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait. Produced for noble patrons who valued the arts, these richly decorated edged weapons and other objects bear witness to the legendary opulence and refinement of the Indian courts during the 16th through 19th centuries. Many incorporate decorative features originating in Central Asia, the Iranian world, China, and even Renaissance Europe, testifying to centuries of trade, travel, and warfare. At the same time, these ornate and uniquely Indian weapons are masterpieces of a long and unparalleled tradition of artistic craftsmanship on the subcontinent.
The more than 500 illustrations in this volume include marvelous jeweled and enameled daggers, swords, and archery rings, carved hilts, and a jeweled shield, fittings, and horse trappings. Detailed catalog descriptions explore the stylistic affinities of each object, and a historical overview places each weapon type in context.
Salam Kaoukji is curator and collection manager of The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, and an editor of Thames & Hudson’s long- running series of the same name. She has contributed to numerous international exhibition publications about India and the jeweled arts, and has coauthored several exhibition catalogs for The al-Sabah Collection, including Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from the al-Sabah Collection in conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.