Illustration from a

Mamluk manuscript on horsemanship, depicting two lancers engaged in a combat exercise, late 14th/early 15th Century.

An illustrated leaf from a Mamluk manuscript on horsemanship, depicting two lancers engaged in a combat exercise.
Egypt or Syria, late 14th/early 15th Century.
Arabic manuscript on paper, 15 lines to the page written in naskhi script in black ink, heading and significant words picked out in red, staining, slight losses to edges.
237 x 166 mm.
Provenance: Private Swiss collection.
This leaf appears to derive either from an incomplete manuscript in the Keir Collection, referred to as 'The Furusiyya Manuscript', or from another, closely related to it. See B. W. Robinson, E. J. Grube, G. M. Meredith-Owens, R. W. Skelton, Islamic Painting and the Arts of the Book, London 1976, pp. 72-81 (where two illustrations of lancers are listed), and especially Plate 12 (no. II.8), where the leaf shown bears a strong resemblance to the present leaf, both in terms of the illustration and the hand in which the text is written.
Comparison can be made with another illustrated folio depicting two mounted lancers in an Arabic manuscript on the sciences by Muhammad bin Ya'qub ibn Khazzam al-Khuttali, entitled Kitab al-makhzun fi djami' al-funun, copied in AD 1474: see De Baghdad a Ispahan, exhibition catalogue, Milan 1994, pp. 170-177, no. 34. See also S. Carboni, 'The Arabic Manuscripts', in Pages of Perfection: Islamic Paintings and Calligraphy from the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Milan 1995, pp. 8489; JP Digard, Chevaux et Cavaliers Arabes dans les Arts d'Orient et d'Occident, Paris 2002, pp. 103107.
Source: Bonhams.

See also Nihayat Al-su'l wa Al-Umniyya fi Ta'lim A'mal Al-Furusiyya, a Mamluk manual of horsemanship and military practice, 1371AD. British Library, Add. 18866.
Other Mamluk Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers
Other 14th Century Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers

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