Concept and direction by Bashir Mohamed The Furusiyya Art Foundation began its collection of Islamic art, and in particular works of art relating to the Muslim chevalier, in the early 1980s. The objective was to collect material of the earlier Islamic periods and dynasties. Today the collection includes fine pieces from the eighth–ninth centuries, especially S.a¯ma¯nid, Ghaznavid and Salju¯q periods through to the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Early sword pommels and guards and early sabres help towards the aim of establishing a typology of white arms. The collection has a number of fine cane shields and archery material as well as armour for man and horse. It is also rich in daggers and belts carried by the courtly chevaliers. Thus the collection has both a serious academic aspect and is also remarkable for its rich and fine and aesthetically satisfying material. It can claim to possess important material not to be found in other collections or museums. This publication represents approximately half of the collection of the Foundation. Bashir Mohamed is a British national of Malaysian birth and upbringing (Taiping, Perak). He left for the UK in 1957 to study law, but ended up reading for a diploma at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 1964. He was the founder of the Islamic Department of Spink and Sons Ltd and acted as the buyer and Islamic art consultant till 1980. After a stint at Oxford University with Professor James Allen and Doctor Julian Raby, he returned to devoting his energy to both acquire and act as a consultant for the Furusiyya Art Foundation.
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