A fine silver Dha
Thailand, Birma, Laos – 19th century
Materials: Wood (Ebony), Silver, Steel
The ‘Dha‘ or ‘Dhaap‘ originates from South East Asia and was widely adopted in Yunnan, Birma, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. They vary in blade shape and decoration of the hilts. Some are made of silver, some of brass, but also ivory, iron and wooden hilts are presented. The blades can vary in shape, but are all curved and single edged. In some regions the blades are decorated with complex silver and copper overlay designs depicting hunting scenes or myths.
Our example shown here is of fine quality and is a little hard to determine its exact origin. The blade shows similarities to the blades from Thailand and Laos, while the hilt shows similarities with several Asian swords such as the stylized lotus front. The V-shaped silver ornament near the pommel shows many similarities with Vietnamese swords.
Of distinctive form with prominent curve, single cutting edge and rounded narrowing spine. The forte of the blade is decorated with a chiseled wave motif which is slightly faded. The steel is of high quality and there seems to be a pattern welding underneath. Due to the cultures habit I decided to leave the blade in ‘as found’ condition.
Of high quality, perhaps even noble. The hilt consists of a wooden grip which is clad in high quality silver fittings. The hilt has a lotus shaped guard which is enclosed with a complicated braiding design. The mid section of the hilt is fully sleeved and interrupted by seven braided protruding rings to ensure a tight grip. The back end of the hilt is exposed hardwood decorated with a silver V-shaped ornament.
Condition: Very good, the silver hilt has a damage near the guard and misses the scabbard. Further in excellent condition.
Blade spine thickness: 8mm
Blade length: 49.2cm
Total length: 74.8cm
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