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Old 2nd September 2023, 04:37 AM   #1
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Default Ethnographic Arms and Armor in German Museums

On my recent trip to Germany I was fortunate to see plenty of arms and armor. The ethnographic ones among them cannot compare to the European ones in quantity and quality, but may still be of interest to this forum. I most certainly did not go to the best museums for Ethnographic items, such as the ones containing trophies from the wars with the Ottomans for example, so this is far from a representative selection of what Germany may offer.

I will start with the Museum of Five Continents in Munich, the only specifically ethnographic museum I was able to visit. There are some arms and armor there, dispersed among the collections.
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Old 2nd September 2023, 04:38 AM   #2
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One of the highlights, at lease for me was the armor suit from Nauru and the shar teeth polearm and fish skin helmet from Kiribati. Some nice dhas as well.
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Old 2nd September 2023, 04:41 AM   #3
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The Americas collections, and the North American one in particular were also quite impressive, even from someone like me coming from the US.
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Old 2nd September 2023, 04:50 AM   #4
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Outside of the Museum of Five Continents, there are a few more museums in Munich that have the occasional ethnographic item. For example, in the Hunting and Fishing Museum there is a very nice Bosnian shishane with a lovely damascus barrel. They also have a couple of beautifully carved Persian or Indian powder flasks.

The Bavarian national museum has a hunting rifle with an Ottoman damascus barrel and an interesting stock covered in mother of pearl in a fish scale patter, reminiscent of Indian work.

If you go to Nymphenburg palace, there is a pair of Ottoman stirrups in a collection of equestrian accessories.

Nuremberg is not far from Munich by train and in the castle collection of arms and armor there are two little cannons with Ottoman trophy barrels.
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Old 2nd September 2023, 04:52 AM   #5
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Some of the best ethnographic arms in Munich are actually in the Treasury of the Residence of the Bavarian Electors and Kings, and consist of some very ornate early (as in pre-19th century) Ottoman daggers.
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Old 2nd September 2023, 05:09 AM   #6
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The Frankfurt History Museum has a section dedicated to various collections of Frankfurt citizens, which include some really interesting and nice items. Frida Kahlo's great uncle was apparently a collector of high end antique guns, and among the European hunting firearms there is a 17th century Ottoman flintlock gun.

My favorite item are 2 bazubands from Sudan, which were collected by a certain Eduard Ruppel with some other items including an Ingessana throwing knife from Sudan in the 1820s. I am not sure if they are Ottoman or Persian in origin - I suspect the undecorated one is Ottoman and not sure about the other. They must have been put together in the Sudan, as they obviously do not match, but it is also clear that in their current iteration are intended as a pair for both hands. Ruppel traveled to Egypt in 1823, to Meroe and Dongola in 1824, Kordofan in 1825 and all around the Red Sea in 1826 and 1827. These are the years just after the fall of the various Islamic states and the Egyptian conquest, well before the Mahdi. Sadky I could find no further notes on where these bazubands may have been collected during the journey.

This wraps up all the ehtnographic arms, unless we count an interesting compilation in the Baumann collection in Rothenburg with an Omani/Zanzibari scabbard which I posted in another thread and which received zero interest.
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