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Author Topic:   Thai swords -provenanced
wilked
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posted 08-20-2004 06:05     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are from the book I mentioned in the previous post. All are from the National museum, though not all currently on display.


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wilked
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posted 08-20-2004 06:09     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And the rest

ENJOY!!
Dan
AKA Khun Dang
AKA KD san
AKA Mr Red

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 08-20-2004 08:39     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent! I just wish the book was more specific than "Ayutthaya period" because that covers a few hundred years timespan. Beautiful pictures, which I think define this Ayutthaya-Thai style very well.
Thanks again, Dan. You are becoming the #1 font of hard information on dha!

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Ian
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posted 08-20-2004 16:51     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks once more Dan. You are a great fount of knowledge.

I agree with Mark that the style of the Ayuddhaya period seems fairly consistent and recognisable.

I am interested in hearing and seeing more of the "old Lanna style" because I have a couple of examples somewhat similar to the one shown. Chiang Mai is the main city in the former Lanna kingdom, so my guess is that the style relates to that city and neighboring areas. I doubt that the author is referring to the Lan Na Dynasty Period of Thai history that dated from the mid-13th C. and lasted about 200 years. The style depicted seems much later than the 13th C.

The Ratanakosin period runs from 1782 to the present. So basically we are talking about swords made in the late 18th and early 19th C (which probably covers most of what we have in our collections), as well as more contemporary pieces. Not a very helpful attribution.

The last one shown in Dan's pictures above is an interesting saber obviously influenced by contact and trade with the West (which occurred fairly early in Thailand relative to Burma). An Ayuddhaya period attribution seems plausible given trade with European countries by that kingdom. The shape of the scabbard resembles another Thai one I posted not long ago that accompanied a more traditional Thai sword. This example reminds me of the "parade" sabers from Vietnam that were also imitations of Western military swords.

Great stuff, Dan.

Ian.

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RhysMichael
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posted 08-20-2004 20:58     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Ian said great stuff. It is nice to have some more definative information on the swords styles and dates. A question for some of you with more knowledge on Thai history than I have. Are all the swords with the small round guards ( dated from Rama III ) from before or after the Ayuddhaya swords ? ( I am thinking it was after and that Mongkut was Rama IV). Have any of you seen swords with the round guards from other periods ? If not, could this style possibly be traced to a specific ruler or rulers. I know in China Emperor Qianlong's era (r. 1736-95) had chinese swords hilted in the Indian Mugal style. Or do you feel it came before or after the style dha most of us have. Also I would love to see the blades of the sheathed swords.

[This message has been edited by RhysMichael (edited 08-20-2004).]

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Andrew
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posted 08-21-2004 00:34     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dan, great book! Thanks for posting the scans. I just received my copy today. Can you suggest any other books (preferably in English, but not necessary) with photos of Thai swords?

John, Rama III reigned from 1824-53. Monkut was Rama IV, and reigned from 1851-68.

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wilked
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posted 08-21-2004 05:17     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Y'all have got what I have so far. I'm off to the Kingdom tomorrow and I'll have a Monday the 31st off so I'll try and check the reference library at the museum and get in touch with the weapons curator. I've promised to take another forumite "Mike" who is a student in Bangkok, to Aranyik and I'll try to press him into service. That's a heads up Mike if you're lurking.

Andrew, Did you ever send off that letter of introduction? If not NOW would be good time before I barge in on Mr Somchai again on 31 Aug. Did I mention that "Na" in his last name denotes royalty.

Some of you may have noted that several of these swords are the same ones pictured in the copies (exerpt) I sent out to the Dha Guys that was the weapon section of a book from the Royal Library.
Khun Dang

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cylord21
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posted 08-21-2004 09:08     Click Here to See the Profile for cylord21   Click Here to Email cylord21     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very enjoyable indeed. Those royal dhas are truly a beuty and sets the high levels of quality and craftmanship these swords can get. No wonder why i like, admire and collect dhas.
Many thanks for sharing the pictures.

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RhysMichael
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posted 08-21-2004 10:33     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew:

John, Rama III reigned from 1824-53. Monkut was Rama IV, and reigned from 1851-68.


Thanks Andrew
that means the Ayuddhaya swords pre-date the ones from Rama III . So in these examples at least the round tsuba-like guards were a later development. If this is wrong someone let me know, I'm posting this comming off a 24 so things in my head are hazy.

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Ian
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posted 08-24-2004 22:56     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm reposting some old pictures of a pair of my better dha and asking whether anyone sees some similarities in hilts and scabbards with the pictures of outstanding swords that wilked has shown above. Both of these were discussed on a previous thread found here: http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000982.html


1.



2.


The pictures are not great and I will try to update them over the coming weekend to provide better views of the various ornaments on these excellent swords.

Ian.

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited 08-24-2004).]

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Andrew
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posted 08-24-2004 23:46     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two of my all time favorites, Ian! Thanks for bringing them to our attention again.

The top one was and remains a mystery to me. It seems to defy classification. Maybe some updated photos will help.

I think the second, black one, is definitely Thai. Looks like it is in the Ayutthaya style (a new category in the classification system?), if not actually from the Ayutthaya period. I now note the characteristic floral/petal theme to the flaring "guard".

It looks similar, in some respects, to this one posted by wilked (top example):

The material on the handle reminds me of that on Mark's Ayutthaya period darb:

Outstanding swords, Ian. Do let me know if you ever tire of them.

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Ian
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posted 08-25-2004 00:00     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Andrew:

I think you, Mark B. and John C. will have to duel for these swords!

I was indeed thinking of an Ayuddhaya style for the second one, so thank you for reinforcing my suspicion about that. This is probably my all time favorite dha, largely because of the silverwork which is the best I have seen on a dha. The ridged area of the handle is actually leather that has been molded somehow into that spiral pattern and then treated with some type of resin or pitch. Never seen this type of leatherwork on the hilt of another sword.

The top one I have long thought might be Burmese, but there is really no good reason for excluding Thai. It seems to have a Chinese influence in the motifs of the scabbard mounts.

Ian.

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited 08-25-2004).]

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 08-25-2004 12:31     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ian:
Andrew:

I think you, Mark B. and John C. will have to duel for these swords!

I was indeed thinking of an Ayuddhaya style for the second one, so thank you for reinforcing my suspicion about that. This is probably my all time favorite dha, largely because of the silverwork which is the best I have seen on a dha. The ridged area of the handle is actually leather that has been molded somehow into that spiral pattern and then treated with some type of resin or pitch. Never seen this type of leatherwork on the hilt of another sword.

The top one I have long thought might be Burmese, but there is really no good reason for excluding Thai. It seems to have a Chinese influence in the motifs of the scabbard mounts.

Ian.


Yes! Dha at 50 paces! Or maybe that great three-way gunfight at the end of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" ...

The erstwhile "cossack" sword, now that I see it again in this context, I agree definately is of an "Ayutthaya" style. It was one of my early e-bay blunders to let that one get away so easily!

The second one could be, dare I say, Yunnan Tai? I think the Chinese influence is clear in the fittings, even though it preserves the over-all "dha" look. The asymmetry of the chape and scabbard throat in particular evoke Chinese dao.

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RhysMichael
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posted 08-25-2004 16:51     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Bowditch:
Yes! Dha at 50 paces! Or maybe that great three-way gunfight at the end of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" ...


A cage match with dha in the center of the tables at the dinner this year perhaps, count me in

Thanks for posting them Ian. A pair I always enjoy seeing. As to a new category in the classification system you guys are the authors of it but in my mind they are still shan but the Ayutthaya tag could be used as a qualifier for that
I'll be interested in seeing what you come up with on it

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Andrew
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posted 08-25-2004 18:09     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm up for the duel/cage match. Got to believe I'd be the favorite.

Doesn't anyone else notice the similarity between the grip material (leather) on Ian's sword and that on Mark's? They sure look really close. Also, the ring of metal dividing the grips on both swords is similar.

As for the classification, I'm for creating several new categories. We've discussed adding "Cambodian" as it seems a distinct form has arisen. I would suggest that that the category of "Thai" be adopted, with "Ayutthaya" as a sub-category. Perhaps if we can find additional support, we can consider adding sub-categories of "Lanna" and "Ratanakosin" as well.

I also propose we drop the qualifier "metro", and simply leave the description of decorative sophistication for each sword, as many highly decorated swords with beautiful silverwork are apparantly the product of "tribal" smiths. Someone (wilked, perhaps?) suggested dividing the categories into "work", "ceremonial" and "battle", or somesuch. I think we should talk about this some more.

Sorry for the OT, rambling post, but I need to strike while the mental iron is hot these days.

Andrew

[This message has been edited by Andrew (edited 08-25-2004).]

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wilked
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posted 08-27-2004 10:40     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry for coming back late.

At a loss on Ian's first one, but didn't we see the stone in silverwork just recently?
Gotta agree on the Ayutthaya attribution on the second, the materials and style are just too similiar. I'd like to check the silver patterns on both when i get back home.

Classification - I definately think there needs to be some kind of distinction between "common use" and "status/ceremonial". I'm buying wholeheartly into Ruel's proposals on fashion and my own on symbols of status. Thailand, Loas, Cambodia, Non-muslim Malaysia, and , I'm assuming, Burma are obessed with beauty, style and status. Beauty contests are a staple of every holiday celebration here. Status is so imporatant that first you need to find out when you meet somone is their age and their position as that will determine how you can politely address them. Many more examples I won't bore you with here suffice it to say I'm positive this was a part of their weaponery. However that being said there are some processes of manufacture and assembly that won't change regardless of dress (rounded tang shoulders as opposed to squared off ones) and by identifying those we may come closer to the true origin.

As for the cage match I'M IN!! Please choose whatever swords out of your collection you'd like to fight with and I'll just bring whatever I can find in my rucksack

Dan

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Ian
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posted 08-28-2004 17:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are some better pictures of the Ayutthaya style sword that I posted above.

Overall views of the sword and scabbard.



The hilt and throat of the scabbard



Detail of the hilt



Detailed views of the stone set into the end of the hilt and the silverwork of the throat and chape of the scabbard



The stone in the end of the hilt appears to be a form of chalcedony, probably onyx or perhaps agate. There are definite layers of color, mainly white, green, and yellow/tan which do not show well in the picture but are quite prominent holding the stone to the light.

The scabbard is black and has many layers of lacquer applied over the years.

Ian.

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited 08-28-2004).]

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cylord21
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posted 08-28-2004 21:30     Click Here to See the Profile for cylord21   Click Here to Email cylord21     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wilked is right about distinction between common use, status and ceremonial. On “Arts and craft of Thailand” by William Warren and Luca Invernizzi Tettoni there is a chapter on “craft as symbols of status” and another on “ceremonial craft”. It talk about the types of craft, materials and skills required to produce objects to be use by the king and other royalty in both their personal and ceremonial life that symbolized the monarchy and defined status. Not much on edged weapons but here are some quotes on pictures that appears on those chapters. “ Carved handle for knife indicating the rank of the owner” . “ Silver ornaments and sword used during a ceremony ”, (a silver and ivory sword). “ Royal swords and other regalia ” . “ Knives, machetes and other cutting devices with ornate handles that display the skill of the maker and indicate the status of the owner; these are passed down from one generation to another as prized family tools”.
Hey, watch out for that cage match, while you guys are in the cage grabing your weapons i might be in a table writing a check.

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 08-29-2004 20:53     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That sword is even more stunning in close-up, Ian. Do you mind if I cop some of those pictures for the DRI?

I looked carfully at the handle material on my Ayutthaya darb, and can confirm that at least the raised portion is twisted or braided fiber. In a few places the black coating has worn thin and under magnification you can see the fibers distinctly. I can't tell what it is wrapped around, however, whether it is simply the wood of the handle, or leather, or metal. I think it is full tang, though, from a simple test -- I took a battery, wires and a flashlight bulb and linked them in series, held one lead to the tip of the pommel and the other to the blade, and the light went on. So, it is either full tang (unusual) or there is a metal sleeve inside the handle.

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Ian
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posted 08-29-2004 23:28     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Go ahead Mark. If you need any further views, let me know.

Ian.

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wilked
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posted 08-30-2004 06:23     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cylord,
Thanks for the substantiation. I actually bought that book yesterday at the market just for those chapters.

Ian,
I also picked up a book that appears to be on the swords of the Kings of the Ratanakosin period. Some amazing photography. Will get photos up when I get home. Of note is that almost ALL of them have the exact same metalworking design format as the sword you pictured above with only slight variations in the pattern itself. Even the handle construction is almost exactly the same save the lotus instead of the stone.

Dha Guys, Haven't been able to get a hold of the Weapons Curator for the National Museum and I can't access my email to get the Directors number. All might not be lost this trip though as Mike Nguen (a student here and regular on SFI) will try to get over there today and get some photos (and judging by his camera gear he knows what he's doing) He has agreed to share those with us.
Thanks again Mike.

Dan

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Ian
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posted 08-30-2004 10:59     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dan:

Your sources seem endless, my friend. Almost single handedly you've taken us a long way forward in our understanding of Thai swords (thanks too to your very patient wife for her translating services and providing you with the necessary leave passes to pursue our common passion). Andrew, Mark, John and I can only envy your proximity to such useful information and the contacts you have generated. We will gratefully devour whatever new information you bring forward.

The amount of new data coming from Thailand has been impressive. We should perhaps have expected to find the history of dha/darb more readily in Thailand than elsewhere because the fiercely independent Thai have maintained contacts with Westerners since at least the 18th C. (and probably earlier). Moreover, they have never gone through a national purging of people or culture such as occurred in Kampuchea, or endured a dark dictatorship such as in present day Myanmar.

How to penetrate the closed Burmese political system to learn more about dha there will be a challenge. I have tried writing to Burmese institutions with absolutely no response. We need contacts within Burma who can help open doors. Any ideas?

Ian.

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RhysMichael
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posted 08-30-2004 11:12     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dan
Thanks so much for all the information you have gotten us during your trip. As others have already noted getting information and contacts over there will be invaluable. It has already started to ease the frustration I have felt for a good while about not being able to find information on these swords

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 08-30-2004 13:34     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dan is definately our No. 1 Dha Agent (Agent 001?).

As for contacts within Burma, I am not surprised no one has answered your letters, Ian, as I understand that the Burmese, even the most helpful ones, are terrible correspondents. I have made the acquaintance via e-mail of an Australian doctoral student who does archeology in Burma (though his specialty is the early Pagan era and as I think I've posted elsewhere, the blades they find are very different from dha), and he has spoken highly of a particular Burmese antiquarian friend of his. Unfortunately, this antiquarian also is a very bad correspondent so the recommendation was to visit and get information face-to-face.

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Andrew
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posted 08-30-2004 13:49     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Needless to say, I echo Ian's comments and gratitude, Dan!

I think that Myanmar will be a nearly impossible challenge so long as the current regime remains in power. About a year ago, I wrote to several museums in Myanmar and have never recieved a return correspondence.

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RhysMichael
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posted 08-30-2004 16:06     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are several trekking and adventure travel agencies taking trips into Myanmar/Burma now.
I can try to contact one of them.

[This message has been edited by RhysMichael (edited 08-30-2004).]

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 08-30-2004 16:19     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I is possible to travel there, and tourism is an important industry. I think though that there are places in the country where you don't even want to try and go, and where the government would not want you either.

Having lived in a Stalinist country for a year (early 1980's Ethiopia) as a citizen of "the Great Enemy," I can say its not so hard to deal with a totalitarian regime. You just have to be careful what you say, and what you photograph. Myanmar is not on the level of Khmer Rouge Cambodia, by any means. My guess is that it is more like Marcos-era Philippines.

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 08-30-2004 19:59     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does that "Lanna" chopper in Dan's book remind anyone besides me of a guan dao?

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RhysMichael
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posted 09-01-2004 18:35     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can see some resemblance but weren't they longer weapons? I found a picture of a couple of more of similar swords here. And I am looking for other pictures

http://www.armouries.org.uk/extsite/view.jsp?sectionId=1126

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 09-01-2004 19:58     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like that site, John. I was sort of struck by the overall effect of the blade. Its is elongated in blade, and shortened in handle as compared to a guan dao, but the sweep of the edge and the curly-cues on the spine just reminded me of it.

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wilked
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posted 09-03-2004 05:38     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ian, those pictures I promised are here but first let me set this up with the sketches of known Thai metalworking motifs. These are from the book "Siverware in Thailand"

First these are motifs that you can see repeated through much of Thai architecture, woodworking and textiles;

You can see some of these in the pictures of Ian's blade above. Especially the border around the top of the bell of the handle. And these:



The silversmithing on the scabbard is similar to the cluster motifs. The book goes on to say that there are many variations. Now to follow up I'll post the like swords from the royal collection in the next post.

[This message has been edited by wilked (edited 09-03-2004).]

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wilked
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posted 09-03-2004 06:17     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What little I've got translated of this book so far (and I'll refine this as I go) suggests that it is a book about the swords of the kings of the Rattanakosin Era. It appears that after each King takes the throne he travels to each province where he is presented a gift as a sign of fealty from the Provincial Governor (This used to be a loosely related noble). It is still unclear to me whether the gift MUST be a sword but it is clear that in these Provinces the gift was a sword. The book has comparison sheets between the swords presented to Rama V and those presented to Rama VII complete with dimensions and materials. Only about 120 years difference but it may pan out to something. I'll have to get the whole thing translated first it really is only a cursory first glance I'm giving you.
Now some pics:
Pattani Province;

Trang Province


Petchaburi Province

Prachuap Kiri Khan Province

Phuket Province


All the other provinces pictured are similiar in style and construction. What I noted was that most had a much more uniformly parallel blade profile than other dha I'd seen, all had fully chased gold scabbards and most had a "plawk" don't know the Japanese word (the reinforcing sleeve around the ricasso where blade meets handle). Most had gold inlayed scrollwork and the name of the province and at least one had flame scrollwork on the spine. Two were out of the ordinary but I've reached my picture limit.

[This message has been edited by wilked (edited 09-03-2004).]

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wilked
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posted 09-03-2004 07:05     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Only two leaf blades are pictured, one is the Sword of State of the current ruler King Bumiphol. Sword RaanChaesri

and a replica/recreation of a sword found while excavating a famous old temple in Ayuttthaya.

Lastly the one odd ball in the bunch is a sword presented from the province of KhamPhaeng Pet that should look like a more familiar style. Khamphaeng Pet is on the boundary between Central and Northern Thailand along the mountains that run between Thailand and Burma.

I'm sure there is much more useful information in here it'll just be some time till I can pull it out.

Dan

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Ian
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posted 09-03-2004 08:19     Click Here to See the Profile for Ian   Click Here to Email Ian     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dan:

Outstanding information! That book is a great find, and helps us clearly date when some of these swords were presented (and presumably made). The information on Thai styles of silerwork will be very useful also. Again, many, many thanks for the new information.

Now we need to know whether these top of the line presentation swords were typical of the style of swords in general use at the time they were presented to the royal ruler, or possibly based on earlier Ayutthaya models (perhaps harkening back to a more illustrious period of history).

Ian.

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BluErf
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posted 09-03-2004 08:27     Click Here to See the Profile for BluErf   Click Here to Email BluErf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "plawk" is called habaki.

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RhysMichael
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posted 09-06-2004 18:33     Click Here to See the Profile for RhysMichael   Click Here to Email RhysMichael     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wilked:
Ian, those pictures I promised are here but first let me set this up with the sketches of known Thai metalworking motifs. These are from the book "Siverware in Thailand"

First these are motifs that you can see repeated through much of Thai architecture, woodworking and textiles;

[This message has been edited by wilked (edited 09-03-2004).]


I can see some similarities to these patterns in these

[This message has been edited by RhysMichael (edited 09-06-2004).]

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blackdiamondcobra
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posted 10-01-2004 14:51     Click Here to See the Profile for blackdiamondcobra   Click Here to Email blackdiamondcobra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I travel often to Thailand and Burma researching and training for my upcoming book. If you have contacts in Myanmar that need to be reached as well as specific questions, you can forward them to me and I can see if I can get them answered for you. This is a tremendous thread wth alot of great info.
Vincent
blackdiamondcobra@yahoo.com

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Andrew
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posted 10-02-2004 00:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by blackdiamondcobra:
I travel often to Thailand and Burma researching and training for my upcoming book. If you have contacts in Myanmar that need to be reached as well as specific questions, you can forward them to me and I can see if I can get them answered for you. This is a tremendous thread wth alot of great info.
Vincent
blackdiamondcobra@yahoo.com

Welcome to the forum! You're going to be very popular around here.

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wilked
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posted 10-02-2004 07:05     Click Here to See the Profile for wilked   Click Here to Email wilked     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let me also add my welcome. We are in need of Burmese-English linguist and any provenanced swords, pictures or actual that you may come across.

Khun Deng (wilked)

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Mark Bowditch
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posted 11-15-2004 11:27     Click Here to See the Profile for Mark Bowditch   Click Here to Email Mark Bowditch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fresh information on one of Ian's dha. These are from Yunnan Province in southern China, and are of the Dai (Tai) people. Note the similarity in the Chinese-influence decoration of the scabbard on the top example.

Here is a matching dha hmyaung:

The handles are different, and Ian's example is fancier, but I am struck by the similarity in the decoration. I really think Ian's dha is from Yunnan.

Another interesting feature of these Dai dha is the similarity of the handles to some "Kachin" dha (lotus pommel, wide ring in the grip, facetted ferrule), yet at the same time exhibiting a distince variation of the style. Here is a comparison to show what I mean:

Perhaps this "Kachin" style is in fact Shan/Tai. I have certainly seen contemporary photographs of Kaching carrying dha with identical handles, but this might be due to a Shan having made them.

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