A Sinhalese Piha Kaetta
Sri-lanka, Kandy Kingdom – 18th century
Materials: Ivory (Elephas Maximus Indica), Steel, Wood, Iron, Brass, Silver
The Kingdom of Kandy in the center of Ceylon (Modern day Sri-Lanka) ruled the island for centuries. The royal workshops of Kandy were known for manufacturing the best quality craftsmanship including weapons. The most common type of ornamental knife from this region is the ‘Piha Kaetta‘ which is a common name for a series of ornamental knives.
Made of exquisitely carved ivory (Elephas Maximus Indica) and was riveted to the tang of the blade with copper rivets. The ferrule is made of bronze which is hand engraved with a scale and rocaille motive. The ivory hilt is carved invert fine rocaille motives which is an important aspect that can be linked to the royal workshops. The same applies to the silver cap which is chiseled deep with a decoration of floral motives and foliage which we often see on Sinhalese high-end pieces.
Of a chopper like form, heavy and thick and with a well made forging structure which was polished afterwards. The thick tapering spine starts flat and turns into a narrow looping tip with a medial ridge in the center. The cutting edge is sharpened and slightly curving towards the tip. The base of the blade starts with a single deep fuller fading towards the tip. The base of the cutting edge has a decorated protrusion in typical Sinhalese style.
A very good quality example. In excellent condition which is a rare feature these days. Complete with undamaged silver cap and excellent quality hilt and blade. These knives were often presented to dignitaries or high ranked officials. Comes with its original scabbard.
Condition: Excellent, minor ware of old pitting, further complete and in well preserved order.
Blade length: 20.4cm
Blade base thickness: 10mm
Total length: 34.8cm
Important note: Made before 1947. Comes with registered certificate, conform CITES law in the European Union. Custom rules apply outside Europe.
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