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Author Topic:   Kachin "running tiger"/Solingen "wolf" Connection?
Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 04-04-2003 14:56     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The eBay Dha thread gave me the impetus to post this. (I've been meaning to for a while, just haven't had the time).

We've seen a mark struck at the forte of some dha in the classic Kachin Burmese style. These dha are quite distinctive, and are often the ones you see with flat tips. I picked up one recently on eBay, but havn't taken photos yet. However, Ian and Lew both own dha with this mark:

Ian's:

Lew's:

Now, perhaps I'm making a leap of logic here, but does anyone else (besides me, that is) feel there may be a connection between the famous Solingen/Passau "running wolf" mark and the Kachin "running tiger"?

Solingen/Passau "running wolf":

[This message has been edited by Andrew (edited 04-04-2003).]

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Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 04-11-2003 14:13     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bump.

Nobody cares to even speculate?

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justin
Senior Member
posted 04-11-2003 15:43     Click Here to See the Profile for justin   Click Here to Email justin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You have a very interesting theory ,I too am surprised that no one has any comments on this subject.

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Jeff D
Senior Member
posted 04-11-2003 16:00     Click Here to See the Profile for Jeff D   Click Here to Email Jeff D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Andrew,

I have been hesitant to reply, because I know absolutely nothing of the Burmese swords and even less (if thats possible) of the smiths who made them.
As pure speculation, I would say the connection is a bit of a stretch. The Solingen makers certainly exported to many areas in the world but mostly from the late 18th century on. Usually the running wolf mark is seen earlier then this.

My guess for what its worth.

Jeff

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Jim McDougall
EEWRS Staff
posted 04-13-2003 12:01     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim McDougall   Click Here to Email Jim McDougall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andrew,
I think your observation is quite astute but must agree with Jeff that it would seem unlikely to have any profound association.
The Passau wolf was a quite early symbol that diffused widely with trade, appearing in often highly stylized pictograph form in many regions. It became quite recognizable by the 17th century and remained associated with German blades, even in the well known English blades of Hounslow, which were of course by German immigrants.
While the scope of diffusion of these blades was vast, I am not aware that it reached to Southeast Asia, although isolated instance is always possible.
The tiger is an important totemic and symbolic figure in Southeast Asia, so its appearance on blades there would certainly reflect similarity in concept, even if not directly related. It would be most interesting if evidence otherwise did appear.
I have always found markings and thier meaning and development fascinating and in many cases otherwise unnoticed clues in sword research are discovered by this kind of keen observation. Nicely done!
Best regards, Jim

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Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 04-14-2003 12:47     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, gentlemen. I thought I might be tilting at windmills here, but the running animal marks struck at the forte were interesting. Since we've been seing these tiger marks on dha of fairly recent production, I'm optimistic that we will someday find someone who can shed some light on this mark and its origins. I think a trip to Burma (Myanmar) is in my not too distant future.

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Jeff D
Senior Member
posted 08-12-2003 20:27     Click Here to See the Profile for Jeff D   Click Here to Email Jeff D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Andrew,

While looking up a completely different topic I came across this old thread. You might find it interesting regarding your question (or maybe not).
http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000050.html

Jeff

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Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 08-12-2003 20:54     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hiya Jeff! Thanks very much for posting the link to that thread. I especially like the page that Artzi posted. Great stuff!

I just ordered a book with contact info for 20+ SEA museums. I'm optimistic that some Burmese curator will be able to answer my questions.

Cheers,
Andrew

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Mark Bowditch
Senior Member
posted 08-13-2003 16:12     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I meant to reply when this first came up, but better late than never.

I was struck by the similarity to the mark on German "cat" knives. The following example has the mark on the handle, but I have also seen it struck on the blade. I know "cat" knives were used in WWI, but I don't know the ultimate origin of the mark and whether it is older than that.

(image from the Cutlery to Go website)

[This message has been edited by Mark Bowditch (edited 08-13-2003).]

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Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 08-20-2003 11:28     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great catch, Mark. A striking similarity, really moreso than the Solingen mark, albeit less romantic.

The Burmese mark does have clearly defined stripes, so it surely represents a tiger. I've now seen photos of about 6 Kachin dha with this mark at the forte, and own one. I think we're looking at mid-late 20th century manufacture on these. The one I have is definitely made for use, and has a straight blade. Very much like a Sword Dao. I've sent photos to Lee for posting.

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Lee Jones
EEWRS Staff
posted 08-24-2003 13:46     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Jones   Click Here to Email Lee Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received from Andrew:

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