Gold Enamelled Archer's Ring / 18th-19th century AD / 12th-13th century AH, India / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) has carved a name for itself as a custodian of artifacts from all over the Islamic world since its inception in 1998. Highlighting its arms and armour collection, IAMM is presenting “Symbols of Power and Beauty: The Collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia” exhibition. The exhibition showcases the finest and exquisite arms and armour collection from the Islamic world; as far west as North Africa to Southeast Asia.
This collection reveals the opulence of the craftsmanship besides emphasizes on the beauty and symbolism of Islamic arms and armour, in highlighting its different usage; as part of the royal attire, in hunting and expeditions as well as in battlefields. It features royal commissions and craftsmen’s masterpieces, gunpowder and firearms as well as highlights the importance of the horse in association with arms and armour as depicted in miniature paintings.
Helmet of the Cavalryman / 1840-1880 AD / 1256 -1297 AH, Egypt / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Keris of Sultan Abdul Jalil of Johore Sultanate / 1712 AD / 1124 AH, Riau Indonesia / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
The exhibition is divided into a few thematic sections, which begins with the swords of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions such as Caliph Uthman ibn Affan, Khalid ibn al-Walid and Ja’afar al-Tayyar. These swords represent the early type of Islamic blade weapons. This section will be followed by the royal commissioned arms of Qajar in Iran, the collection of Tipu Sultan of Mysore, the Ottoman Sultans, the Darfur Sultanate in Sudan as well as a section dedicated to the Malay world.
Left: Shamshir Sword signed by Ali Asghar Isfahan / 18th-19th century AD / 12th-13th century AH, Qajar Iran / Right: Replica of Dhul-Faqar, a sword of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Left: Life-size Painting of the Qajar Crown Prince ‘Abbas Mirza, 1835-1840, Qajar_Iran / Right: Replica of a sword of Utman Ibn Affan / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Among the highlights are the remarkable silver keris of Sultan Abdul Jalil that tells the story of the descendents of Sultans of Malacca-Johore Sultanate and the beginning of the new ruling under the bendahara. The life-size painting of the portrait of Abbas Mirza, the Crown Prince of Qajar, which was produced between 1835 to 1840, is also one of the exquisite artifacts displayed in this exhibition. In addition, it showcases arms and armour accessories as part of protective paraphernalia for armies and royalties. Other than bladed weapons, the exhibition cast light on the culture of firearms in the Islamic world. The display is thus informative and parts of the collection are being displayed for the first time.
Moro Suit of Armour, 18th-19th century AD / 12th-13th century AH, Philippines / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Steel Body Armour of Nizam Ali Khan of Hyderabad, 17th century AD / 11th century AH, India / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
In conjunction with 'Symbols of Power and Beauty: The Collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia', IAMM also caters to the interest of younger generations with educational activities by taking their own adventure in the exhibition gallery and understanding the beauty of Islamic arms and armour. Interactive 3D walls are one of the attractions that will not just capture the children’s excitements but also adults. During this four months exhibition, the IAMM Children’s Library will also be holding activities for children such as children’s royal atelier where they can be crafty by making shield and helmet and many more theme-related activities every Saturday and Sunday.
'Symbol of Power and Beauty: The Collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia' will be on display at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia from April 20 – August 31, 2015.
Rifle with Silver and Ivory Decoration, 19th century AD / 13th century AH, Ottoman Turkey / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Tipu Sultans Blunderbuss, 18th century AD / 12th century AH Seringapatam India / Courtesy of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
THE ISLAMIC ARTS MUSEUM MALAYSIA
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is a non-profit organisation dedicated to being a custodian, preserver and educator of Islamic art. It is located at Jalan Lembah Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, neighbouring the National Mosque and Islamic Centre. It is within walking distance of the National Museum, National Planetarium, Orchid Garden, Butterfly Park and Bird Park. The 12 permanent galleries in the museum comprise: Architecture, Qur’ans & Manuscripts, India, China, Malay World, Textiles, Jewellery, Arms & Armour, Coins & Seals, Metalwork, Ceramic & Glass and Living with Wood.