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Old 5th February 2014, 08:24 PM   #6
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibrahiim al Balooshi
This description struck me as pertinent though there are many others and it is important to realize that dragon may mean Gargoyle, Lion, Deity or anything conjured up broadly related…for another superb example of a described and illustrated blade please see http://www.caravanacollection.com/?...=kasthane-sword

Kastana (or Kasthane)

The national sword of Ceylon. Typically a short curved single-edged watered blade, double-edged at the point. The hilt comprises a knuckle-guard and down-turned quillons, each terminating in a dragon's head with large in-set eyes. The dragon's head is usually decorated throughout with gold or silver panels and the pommel with tongue is formed from a piece of wood or red coral. The dragon's mane trails down the grip and is decorated with silver and gilt repousse floral designs. The entire hilt is often made of silver or gold and even inlaid with jewels. The blade close to the hilt is decorated with floral or thatched designs. The scabbard is made from wood and is covered with embossed and chased silver worked with flowers with leafy borders and richly ornamental.

The swords were intended to serve as badges of rank. Rev. James Cordiner in 1807 wrote that everyone in office wears a sword with a silver hilt and scabbard. These swords were made in the Royal workshops known as the "Rankadu Pattala" or "golden sword workshop" and the quality of the piece always depended on the rank of the wearer.

Well, i can see why Rick might have been confused by your post Ibrahiim. You write "This description struck me as pertinent…." and then end that sentence with a link before quoting from a completely different source which you do not credit. While i do not wish to imply that you were being purposefully deceptive here i do hope you can see how this might seem misleading to some.
It should also seem obvious that simply because one can find numerous references to the kastane hilt as a "dragon" does not in anyway prove that ANY of these hilts were ever intended to be dragons or anything other than a lion. How many times misinformation is repeated on the internet does not in turn make these misinterpreted statements "facts" and they cannot really be used to support any theory that the pommels of kastanes are meant to represent anything other than a lion. Even one of your "dragon" descriptions goes into detail about the mane of the "dragon", not a detail usually ascribed to dragons throughout various cultures. The stylized manes on these creatures should be a clue that these are indeed lions being depicted on these pommels. Certainly there is some "artist license" involved in the depiction of the lion which is proofed out by the variants that we find in existence, but i seriously doubt that court artists would be permitted to change the actual symbolism of the hilt by depicting some completely different creature than what is traditionally designated for the form. I have yet to see a true kastane pommel that cannot clearly be seen to be meant as a stylized lion head.
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