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Old 20th February 2017, 04:04 AM   #24
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Posts: 2,383

Hi Gavin:

I want to press you a little further on the repoussed silver work on the scabbards of these swords. I understand that these scabbards were likely produced in Burma, either by Burmese craftsmen or imported metal smiths.

I think you would agree that it is unusual to find this segmented style of silver scabbard on Burmese dha, with the exception of these "story dha" that seem to have arisen around the mid-19th C. as commemorative items and perhaps for foreign consumption.

The arrangement of the scabbard elements into contiguous cells or segments is very similar to what has been found on Lao hilts and scabbards that pre-date this period and that appear to have evolved in the mid- to late-18th C. (from an earlier Lan Xang style). Some of the Lao silver work of that period was particularly fine, and they seem to have brought the repoussed metal technique to a fine art in the second half of the 18th C. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that Burmese repoussed metalware was found to a great degree or of a high quality in the late 18th C.--those techniques and skills being learned and adopted from the Lao around that time.

I would like to have your thoughts on this as I have several repoussed silver scabbards on Lao and Burmese swords that appear quite similar.


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