A Thai Dhaap
Thailand, Laos – 19th century
Materials: Wood, Steel, Brass
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 here originates from Thailand or Laos, the typical hilt shape is a common feature in these regions. The unusual feature is the round guard which is often not present on ‘dha‘. The hilt is made of brass and chiseled in floral motifs the mid section of the hilt is made of timber and the pommel is semi-conical shaped and features a lotus leaf decoration.
Of a so-called ‘Hua Lem‘ or ‘Hua Darb‘ type which has both a curved spine and cutting edge. The base of the spine is very thick and provides a good balance just after the forte. The blade suffered from superficial scratch marks, but is still in good shape and condition. The cutting edge starts at the base and runs down towards the tip. The mid section of the cutting edge seems to have been worn from intensive use.
A fine functional dha which was well made and has a decorative touch to it. The blade shows traces of intense use but hardly suffered any pitting or oxidation. The hilt has an old crack near the pommel and the sword comes without scabbard.
Blade spine thickness: 1.1 cm
Blade length: 55.2cm
Total length: 81cm
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