Ms Salam (Sue) Kaoukji is the curator and collection manager of The al-Sabah Collection and the author of Precious Indian Weapons: And Other Princely Accoutrements, the latest book on objects in the collection. Kaoukji has contributed to numerous international exhibition publications about India and the jeweled arts, and has co-authored several exhibition catalogues for The al-Sabah Collection, including Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals and Al-Fann: Art from the Islamic Civilization.
Precious Indian Weapons in The al-Sabah Collection
This collection of nearly 200 jewelled weapons and priceless accoutrements from the Indian subcontinent was assembled over many decades by the owners of The al-Sabah Collection. Produced for noble patrons who valued the arts, these richly decorated edged weapons and other princely objects bear witness to the legendary opulence and refinement of the Indian courts during the 16th through the 19th centuries. Many incorporated 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 of the subcontinent, displaying distinctive techniques of gemstone setting, hardstone carving, enameling and blade damascening.