The first surviving reference to the use of gunpowder appears in a Chinese manuscript dating from 1044 AD. The formula for gunpowder was passed to the Arabs via India and Persia and its first use in firearms in Europe is reported at the Arab siege of Spain in 1324. While much has been written about the history of firearms in Europe and North America, their development in the Islamic world and their subsequent history there has been almost totally neglected. Elgood, uses the collection of firearms from the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait to explore the subject. The collection ranges from Morocco to India, China and Central Asia, taking in almost every country in between. Elgood describes the artistry and beauty of antique firearms, focusing on the use of decoration and great craftsmanship as well as the technological innovations that were developed, and looking at the different cultures of the Islamic world.
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