Arthur Bijl is the current Hutton McRoberts Assistant Curator of Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Asian Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection, London, having joined from Christie’s in 2019. He is particularly interested in the courtly art of eighteenth-century Awadh and the collecting habits of its nawab Asaf al-Dawla. He is currently working towards the publication of The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Arms and Armour from India, Iran and the Ottoman Empire, due to be published in October 2023.
Princely Arms and Armour in The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection contains one of the world’s premier collections of princely arms and armour. Its contents were collected mostly between 1858 and 1870, with no further additions after 1890, and the Collection has been a National Museum since 1900. During the lecture, the lecturer will take us through the history of the collection, as well as some of its most important works from India, Iran and the Ottoman Empire. The star object in the collection is undoubtedly a unique dagger made in the court workshop of the Mughal emperor Jahangir for his son prince Khurram, who was later known as Shah Jahan. Other highlights include a richly-decorated late Timurid dagger, a rare Mamluk mace and a sword whose hilt and scabbard mounts represent a high point in eighteenth-century Indian enamelling.