A Combination of Indian and European Art Style

The Relief of Lucknow

The establishment of British Empire in India resulted in intermingle of cultures and traditions. Though, the culture of British people was hardly influenced yet their art, architecture and furniture faced a great impact.

They colonised Indian in the 16th century and after that India experienced a subsequent westernisation that developed a radical change in the artistic style of Indians as well as Europeans. A new style of Indian Art and architecture emerged during this time period.

When Europeans started their journey in India, they preferred to have a particular style of paintings in their rooms and offices. They were less sensitive towards native Indian arts and artifacts. That gave a space to Indian artists to produce the similar kind of art that British liked.

This fusion of Indian traditional art with European style emerged as a new form of art and it influenced architecture majorly. One other art form that was majorly impacted was the Indian furniture.  

Furniture was not so common in India before the era of colonisation. When British starting residing in India, they demonstrated Indian artists to make them a copy of furniture of their kind. It leads to the production of the current form beds, chairs and tables in the country.

Though, Indian artists copied the structures of European furniture they made sure to put an Indian touch on it. Wooden carvings are an example to it. Apart from carvings and high-quality wood, another typical Indian thing introduces was the use of Ivory. Indian artists started decorating furniture with expensive ivory, jewels and stones. The ivory stubbed furniture had taken its inspiration from Royal Thrones.

This kind of furniture is considered really expensive even in present time. Due to its aesthetic beauty and durability, the furniture is in high demand in London, the UK and other European countries. However, it is not easily available.

A few popular art galleries of London have taken the initiative of arranging, stocking and selling the similar kind of furniture at their stores at a competitive price. The furniture not only serves its naïve purpose but it is also used an accessory for home decorating purpose.                     

The Art of Decorating your Home with Arms and Armour

Gem Set Mughal Dagger

The trend of home décor keeps changing constantly. But, over the last few years it has seen a tremendous change. The latest trend says that you can use almost any right combination and style for the décor purpose. Even the ‘radical’ and ‘out-of-the-box’ things can be used for decorating your home. One such thing is ‘Arms and Armour’.

The significance of Arms and Armours is not limited to wars only. They are known for their asthetic beauty as well. The wide range of materials used in the construction of Indian or Islamic Arms and Armours adds to the varied possibilities of decorating your home using these items.

The arts of war hold an important place in decorating the homes. Islamic weapons are made from high-quality steel blended with high-carbon content that allows them to shine through the ages. Preserved and collected for centuries, the artistic work on these objects stand out for their sculptural quality. Whether they were used for practical or ceremonial purposes, weapons are always an enduring reminder of our glorious armourer’s history.  

The culture of decorating the household walls with Indian Arms and Armour started with strong martial traditions. It has always been a popular trend in both Indian sub-continent and European Royal Palaces.

Guns and swords are two most common weapons that are hanged on the walls. Apart these two Islamic daggers that belong to Mughal era is much in demand. Horse tappings are equally popular, and they are used for the purpose of decorating ceilings. 

The impressive display of Indian Arm and Armour started in early 17th century from Royal Palaces. They are known for their fine craftsmanship and ornate decoration. The famous Windsor Castle and Hampton Court still have the beautiful weapons arranged in a decorative manner on the walls.

It has become the latest trend in London to decorate the walls of the house with rich decorative armours. Despite the time period they belong, Arms and Armour from all centuries and all cultures of the world are equally appreciated and used for decorative purposes.

Indian Ivory and Furniture

Throne Chair (Sandali)

Have you ever wondered why people are so obsessed with the ancient Indian furniture with high-level of craftsmanship? Most of the people feel so excited when encountered with an Indian piece of furniture. What so precious about it and what makes it so popular? Ancient Indian furniture is recognised throughout the world for its intricate carvings, high-quality wood, long-lasting nature and high-level craftsmanship.

Apart from all these things, there is one more thing that adds to its popularity- the Indian Ivory. The sought after material made its way in society 40,000 years ago. There are crude statues and figurative art that give an insight into the usage of ivory ages ago.

The hard material is recovered from the tusks of elephants and teeth of other animals like rhinoceros. It is then carved for commercial purposes and is much in demand. Since ancient times, it is used in making paintings, carved decorative pieces, thrones, statues and much more. It has also been a vital part of ancient furniture used in Royal Palaces.

When the British invaded India, the demand for furniture rose. British guided Indian craftsmen to create furniture according to their requirement and the craftsmen used their own skills to decorate the furniture and enhance its beauty. They started doing intricate carvings on them and used ivory for the process. The beautiful shiny white colour of the Ivory enhances the look of the furniture. That is how the ivory stubbed furniture reached Europe.  

The fascination of Europeans towards ivory stubbed furniture is still the same. They show a certain interest in ivory stubbed furniture and are always keen on adding it to their interiors. The right choice of wood and beautiful carvings of the ivory adds to the purpose of furniture. The availability of ivory stubbed furniture has changed the whole concept of doing furniture for luxurious homes.

Ivory trade is crucial and it faces some kind of legal formalities because of the involvement of animal tusks. Its usage in decorating the furniture is legal if used up to a certain percentage. Another popular usage of ivory is making cutlery handles, piano keys, jewellery, decorative pieces and sculptures.        

How Europeans influenced Indian Furniture?

Kashmiri Chair

Indian art was a bit different until the Europeans took over the country. During that time period, it underwent so many transformations and evolutions that it has become a fascinating mix of cultures. Europeans left a great impact on the history and styles of Indian furniture.

History of Indian Furniture

The routine furniture was never a part of Indian culture. Historically, people of India, people of different Indian cultures never put much emphasis on Indian furniture. For a longer period of time in India history, people never kept much furniture in their homes. It was only meant for Royal palaces or influential people. The purpose of furniture was ceremonial most of the times, like royal thrones. Most of the people never had these tables and chairs at their homes. They used to eat and sleep on the floor.   

It was British who introduced furniture into almost every household of the country. People from Europe came to India for business and settled down in the country. They built houses and wanted furniture similar to what they have back at their homes. And that’s how they taught Indian carpenters to make European furniture using Indian material. Indian craftsmen created European furniture with distinctive Indian skills in woodcarving. The inlay process reflected an interesting blend of Indian and European techniques.   

Historical furniture materials

Wood was a plentiful material in India and most of the furniture was made from it. Rosewood, teak, acacia, ebony and shisham are the types of wood used in that time. Shisham is native to the Himalayas and is popularly known as North Indian Rosewood. Apart from wood, craftsmen also used included some exotic substances like ivory. 

The furniture we use in our houses is a mix of different styles and influences. This is an excellent example of how different artistic styles blend and transform into a unique work. This kind of exotic furniture is equally popular in India and the United Kingdom.           

Difference Between Indian and European swords

Indian Sword With Champleve Enamelled Hilt

Swords are one of the most important weapons of medieval history. The bladed weapon was constructed to have a good fight in the battle. It was capable of slashing and thrusting.  It was basically a long extension to the knives or daggers attached to a hilt. Thrusting swords were straight and had pointing tips while the slashing swords were curved and had sharpened edges.

Swords always held a great position among European and Indian Arms and Armour. All the battles today lack the presence of the sword still it continues to intrigue us.

Sword enthusiasms have been arguing over this topic since ages: Which of the two dominant shapes of the swords is more popular: curved or straight? Traditionally, straight swords belong to the Western culture and the curved swords are Eastern. Curved swords are often known as typical Indian talwars.

The difference in the construction of the two swords is the clear demarcation between the two cultures. There is nothing like which one is superior because both were very much apt to the eras and geographical areas they belonged to. It’s just that the two powerful cultures preferred one type of sword over another.

In that area, Asia was the land of wide expanses and most of the warriors used to travel on their horses. At such times, a curved sword helped them to defeat their enemy efficiently. It does not mean that curved swords cut better than straight ones but they just perform the function more efficiently.

Moreover, straight swords work efficiently only when they are used in skilled hands and because of the momentum of the running horse it was impossible to showcase your skills. This was the reason behind preferring curved swords over straight ones. One more thing, straight swords might have entangled in the neck of the enemies but the curved swords used to came out fine.    

Though this is a heated argument and it will always be on yet one thing is confirmed and that is “no sword is better than other”.

Indian Arts and Colours

India is fondly remembered and exalted as the symbol of colours. The colourful culture, streets and stories of India seem like an old folktale. But on the whole, colours are an integral part of Indian consciousness. The colours are perfectly combined in all the paintings, figures and fabrics to attain a beautiful look. The all vibrant colours of Indian fabrics, textiles and paints initiate the travelling of thoughts through figures.

Painting of The Qutb Minar

Each art piece of Indian art holds a story within its magnificent art. Each brush stroke and each colour drop if used in rightful place turns Indian paintings into a masterpiece. Colourful Indian paintings have become an integral part of contemporary wall art.

Indian paintings represent something that is significantly associated with specific ethos. They involve portentous ideas that take the art to another level.

Luckily, these bright colours are not associated with paintings only. There is some strange kind of bravery in Indian textiles. They are all about colours and fabrics.

The wide range of Indian textiles is designed and manufactured by various techniques. Each location in India stands for a diverse fabric and textile depending upon its geographical location, climate, cultural influence and trade contacts.

Most of the traditional Indian fabrics are made from natural resources, for example, Cotton is made from a plant and silk is obtained from an animal. The rich natural resources of India have the power of producing and decorating unrivalled Indian textiles. The cultivator with the help of weaver, dyer, printer and embroidered creates masterpieces of art. Tailor also plays an important role in the process. He makes the textile wearable or usable.

The story of Indian textile dates back to 4000 BC and is being documented from the last 2500 years. The magnificent fabrics of India proclaim courtly splendour as they are handmade. The popularity of Indian fabrics can be evidenced by their huge demand around the world. In London, there are many art galleries that display old textiles to contemporary fashion. 

The Significance of Arms and Armour in Today’s Time

Decorating your place with Arms and Armour is an important aspect of studying and appreciating it. Arms and Armour are created from a wide range of materials and the functional items add aesthetic beauty to your home. Indian Arms and Armour along with Islamic Arms and Armour have carved a special place for them in the market.

Bhuj Axe Knife

All the studies on Indian Arms and Armour have concentrated on the Mughal era. Mughal daggers are considered as the most sought of pieces. Since centuries, they are highly guarded and highly priced. The beautiful objects are elegantly grooved and made from curved steel blades. The incredibly beautiful, real piece of sculpture is highly popular in London.

Indian Arms are quite popular among Europe, the Middle East or North America. For historical reasons, London has always been the center market of all these weapons. The private buying of all these weapons is quite strong for the best pieces.

It has almost become a tradition in English houses to decorate their walls with Indian Arms. The finest pieces are most easily sold.

Apart, Mughal weapons, the next popular Indian Arms belong from the rule of Tipu Sultan, a Muslim reign, popularly known as Tiger of Mysore. He was also known for his astonishing wealth of exquisite weapons and artworks. His collection still holds a significant place in the market in London.

Islamic items have been equally popular due to the ever-rising demand from the Middle East. The beautifully illustrated Islamic weapons have their religious significance as well. The pieces made in the 16th and 17th century witnessed huge variations in their shapes, combinations and forms. Western collectors make sure that they get a good supply of Islamic weapons.

There is an interesting technique of differentiating Islamic weapons from the other ones. They always have some verses or prose carved on the handles of the weapons. The verses showcase a belief that how people relied on the highest power and their hard work and deeds at the same time.         

Why Indian Art is So Popular in London?

Indian Art is a vast term. It showcases the culture, history, religions and philosophies of the continent. It defines the daily life and lifestyle of the people living in the country for ages. In earlier times, it was a privilege for an artist to get a space in the outer world. But, the rich and colourful history of the beautiful civilization has gotten international accreditation since the last few years.

Grey Peacock Pheasant

Modern Indian art has always been an inevitable part of Art exhibitions in London. The increasing knowledge about Indian art and the improving quality of the Indian work has helped it to gain popularity among this another continent.

Whether you want paintings depicting the glorious past of the country or you want to relive the great Indian religious era, you can visit any Indian art gallery in London and bring the great work at your home.

Another reason behind the increasing popularity of Indian art is its journey from the reason past. The way it has been changed and transformed in the last 70 years is quite impressive. While in the early years, Indian Art was more associated with the societal concerns, the young modern and contemporary generation born after independence, changed the artistic outlook of India dramatically. The current Indian artwork is modern, socially responsive, intensely subjective and fashionable post-modernist. It mirrors a great extent of diversity and thus liked by all.

Indian art dealers living in London has played another important role in making the art more popular. The increasing demand for modern Indian artwork in London has inspired many artists to create more impressive work. Since the end of 20th century and the start of the 21st century, Indian artists have pushed their limits. They are working impulsively and creating the art that is not necessarily suitable for Indian audience alone. Their subjects have become more universal so that anyone from any continent can relate themselves to it.

Most of the renowned art galleries in London have concentrated on Indian art. Looking at this context, many Indian artists have infused foreign influences in their work to enrich it.

The enhanced artistic vocabulary of Indian Art has made it popular globally.

A Splendid Collection of Arms and Armour

The existence of Arms and Armour dates back to the existence of human traces. They have been an inevitable part of human culture since ages. At first, humans designed Arms and Armour to protect themselves from wild animals. With the advancement of human territories, the requirement of Arms and armour increased. Since then, there is no looking back. Weapons hold an important place not only at the time of conquest and defence but they are equally valued in pageantry and ceremonial events.

Kulah Khud (Helmet)

Though various materials were used in the construction of weapons, Metals were always the first choice. There are many art galleries in London that collect, preserve and exhibit such collections. They showcase the collection and a few put them up for sale as well.

Amir Mohtashemi art gallery, London in the UK is one such store that allows you to incorporate this small piece of glorious past in the interiors of your home.

When you will visit exhibitions in London, you will realise that the best weapons represent the highest technical and artistical capabilities. The material they are made from helps us to determine their era.

Arms and Armour not only represent an era or a culture, but they also represent the material strength of the time as well. Weapons from different regions differ in their diversity, depth and quality. The section of Indian and Islamic Arms and Armour is the most popular one.

Arms and Armour were always a topic of keen interest among the activists, curators, trustees, private collectors and donors over the last thousand years.  Our collection comprises of weapons from different millennials. There are lacquered shields, a sword with silver glitz, sharp axe knife, a beautiful ivory powder flask and many more.

Make this beautiful collection a part of your home. It will create a Royal aura.