Friday, June 17, 2011

Firearms of the Islamic World - another book review...

While I wait on the next greens, I thought I would post a short review about this book. Lots of eye candy in this - not only photos of actual weapons but also period illustrations. And the text is excellent. Lots of stuff I hadn't seen before regarding peculiarities of the Indian firearms. It was interesting to note that the East India Company didn't manufacture any firearms itself despite having three arsenals. Further the captains of the East India Company ships ran an illegal firearm trade arming the Indians!

The official release states:
While much has been written about the history of firearms in Europe and North America, their development in the Islamic world and their subsequent history there has been almost totally neglected.

Elgood, uses the collection of firearms from the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait to explore the subject. The collection ranges from Morocco to India, China and Central Asia, taking in almost every country in between. Elgood describes the artistry and beauty of antique firearms, focusing on the use of decoration and great craftsmanship as well as the technological innovations that were developed, and looking at the different cultures of the Islamic world.

Typical of the illustrations in the book - Janissaries c.1590
My scans really do not do justice to this book. The illustrations are vividly coloured-they appear washed out in these scans.

The down side? Possibly price. RRP is US$100 but second hand copies seem to start around $20. At that price you just can't go wrong.


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