PUBLICITY | Ms. Vanna Scolari Ghiringhelli is a member and councillor of Italia-Asia Association of Milan and a member of Is.I.A.O. (Italian Institute for Africa and the East), where she studied and worked. At present, she has been working as Hindi language teacher at University of Milan. She has been studying and collecting Oriental edged weapons since 1968. Together with her late husband Mario Ghiringhelli, Ms. Vanna Scolari Ghiringhelli published the book “The Invincible Krises” (BE MA Editrice) in Milan in 1991. Additionally, she published the articles: Il mondo magico del kris (The magic world of the kris) in Quaderni Asiatici n° 23 in Milan in 1984; Keris Hilt Materials in Arts of Asia, vol.27, n° 5, in SeptOct. 1997; Il tempo sacro dell’armaiolo giavanese (The sacred time of the Javanese smith) in A Oriente, Anno III, n°7 in Milan in 2002; and Il potere del kris (The power of the kris), Astrolabe, n°82 in June 2004. She held the lecture “The presence of Hinduism and Indian Epics in the Kris World” in the International Convention “Symbology, Myth, History: Arms and Battles in India from Rudra to the Mahatma Gandhi”, held at the University of Milan in May 2003. Her second book The Invincible Krises 2 is going to be published very soon.
January 2007, Book Review :
I have been studying and collecting Oriental arms since 1968 and I never found, during all these years, a book so exhaustive, beautiful and useful like M. Moshtagh Khorasani’s Arms and Armor from Iran. We could call it a “rescue book” because it takes one out from the mud of doubts, which frequently appear in a collector’s mind. For example, the huge amount and variety of detailed photos of swords, daggers and armour, can help a collector to sweep away some uncertainty in distinguishing Mughal from Persian arms, thus forgetting, as much as possible, the words “Indo-Persian Arms and Armour”
The identification of the different johar , the description of types of steel and methods of producing crucible steel and the classification of swords are perfectly clear, easy to understand and widely explained. But what it is really amazing is chapter 8 The Shamshir and its variants with the signatures of Iranian smiths, the translations of the cartouches and inscriptions, the interesting explanation of the baduh and the details of the hilts. Il va sans dire that in the book we find all kind of Iranian arms and armour, from Bronze to Qajar period, being very useful the classification of daggers, often named wrongly.
Another interesting chapter is No. 22, about symbolism of the lion and the sun and lion-bull fighting on Iranian arms and armour. I deeply appreciate this kind of research often disregarded, while to know the hidden meaning of things enables us to understand the spirit and background of the object.
My conclusion is that this book is important because it can, by itself, create new, enthusiastic collectors, widen our frequently narrow-minded knowledge, make clear what sometimes it is believed to be obscure and put all of us in a condition to enjoy very much its text and illustrations. It is surely unique and a jewel in the scholar’s and collector’s library.