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Old 29th January 2018, 01:55 AM   #1
Jim McDougall
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Default BOOK REVIEW" "RAJPUT ARMS & ARMOR" ROBERT ELGOOD

There have recently been a number of queries here regarding Indian arms, which of course are most often tulwars, and frankly a good number of these are actually Rajput. One of the most common questions is, how does one tell?

While it is difficult, at best, to determine unequivocally that a tulwar or other forms may be Rajput or other, there is finally a reference which reaches well toward giving us better perspective. This book is however not just directed toward these kinds of details, but an incredibly insightful description of the magnificent Rajput culture, notably the Rathores.

It seems of course fitting that a reference which could offer the kinds of detail and nuanced factors which typically lurk subtly in these weapons, would be written by Robert Elgood, whose brilliant approach to understanding the weapons THROUGH that of the culture itself, also brings this culture to wonderfully described and revealing light.

He is the kind of author that represents the ultimate approach, in my opinion, toward the sincere study of ethnographic arms. His field study in the arms of India includes over two decades of many visits there, in which he typically imbeds into the cultures themselves.

"Rajput Arms & Armour", is a powerfully comprehensive book (2 volumes) which is loaded with excellent and discernibly selected examples which are beautifully photographed and best of all, well described. In these captions are outstanding notations of the nuanced elements which offer helpful insight in identifying and classifying these forms in many cases. Though the title suggests focus on Rajput arms, these descriptions often lend well to better understanding of others as well.

The text is well written in powerful detail which reads in a fluid style, where you want to keep going as the exciting intrigue and description of this fascinating place and its culture is brought into historical perspective.
This is the dimension needed to really appreciate these weapons, and how important they were to these powerful and valiant warriors.

It seems no matter where I open this book, I am drawn into the words, and one after another, I have those 'ahah! Eureka moments where some detail or comment reveals answers to questions I have asked or others have wondered. It is like a wonderful favorite movie where every time you watch it again, you see something you hadn't noticed before!

As we know, there is a broad spectrum of students and collectors of arms. Not all collectors are necessarily scholars or keen on deep history on arms and forms, and many scholars studying arms are not collectors.
This amazing book, in my opinion, reaches to all.

It is hefty. two large volumes, but beautifully printed, fantastic photos, in a very nice slipcase, and handsomely presented.

"Rajput Arms & Armour"
Robert Elgood, 2017
ISBN 978-93-85285-70-7

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 30th January 2018 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 30th January 2018, 12:06 AM   #2
silberschatzimsee
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One of my biggest problems when reading such book that i want those items
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Old 30th January 2018, 01:41 PM   #3
Pukka Bundook
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Thank you Jim, for the very good review!

It Does sound very compelling!

Kind regards,
Richard.
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Old 31st January 2018, 03:46 PM   #4
Ian
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Thanks Jim. This sounds like a must have for anyone interested in Southern Asian arms and armor. Ian
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