This exhibition features a selection of more than three dozen historical examples of Islamic arms and armor, which represent the breadth and depth of The Met's renowned holdings in this area. Focusing primarily on the courts of the Mamluk and Ottoman sultans, shahs of Iran, and Mughal emperors of India, the exhibition celebrates the publication of Islamic Arms and Armor in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum's first scholarly volume on the subject.
Highlights of the installation include a magnificent Ottoman helmet embellished with pious Qur'anic verses in gold and a luxurious gold-encrusted saber bearing inscriptions praising King Solomon (Süleyman)—both from the time of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66); the earliest documented Islamic sword, a ninth-century example discovered in 1939 in the Museum's excavations at Nishapur, Iran; and a dagger covered with a mosaic of rubies and emeralds made in the court workshops of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r. 1605–27). Also on view are several works that have not been exhibited for decades.
The publication is made possible by the Grancsay Fund and The Jessica E. Smith and Kevin R. Brine Charitable Fund.
Dagger with scabbard (detail), 1605–27. Indian, Mughal period. Steel, iron, gold, rubies, emeralds, glass, wood, textile. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund and The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1984 (1984.332a, b)