Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Pictures from Oriental Arms site (Part 1)
Thanks again for your thoughts and experience with these swords. Very helpful.
In pursuing my research further, I looked at another online source of some size, namely Artzi Yarom's archives on his Oriental Arms web site. Artzi presently lists some 600 swords he has sold in his Indo-China/China/Tibet grouping. Within his swords I found three (one Burmese, two Thai/Lao) that are of the segmented scabbard type we are describing here and which were not simply plain silver panels on the scabbard (another two Thai/Lao examples had the plain silver panels).
Attached I have copied the pictures from Artzi's site. I did not count the total number of dha/daab on his site, but a fair estimate might be that one in four or one in five of the items (i.e., 120-150) shown were dha/daab; of these about two-thirds had scabbards. An estimate of the sample size from which these segmented scabbard swords was drawn is thus roughly a hundred in total. That gives us an overall prevalence for segmented scabbards of around 3% based on Artzi's collected experience over the last however many years he has been maintaining his site (about 15-20 years I think). I would call that rate of 3% "uncommon" but not "rare."
When looking at the examples he has on record, I found the two Thai/Lao swords with segmented scabbards appeared to have some age. One has no lotus bud pommel, and the other has a larger, more flamboyant type similar to what is seen on some of the Burmese presentation dha that you referenced. The third example, a Burmese "Story Dha," has a lotus pommel also, which is not particularly large.
The final example from Artzi's site is one of the Thai/Lao swords with an undecorated segmented scabbard. Here the equal lengths of panels is apparent, but there is no engraving or repoussed work on the silver. This might reflect an earlier form of the style, but I have no evidence to support that view.
Would appreciate your thoughts.
Thai/Lao daab with segmented scabbard.
Thai/Lao daab with segmented scabbard. Hilt has a large lotus bud pommel.
Burmese "story dha" with segmented scabbard. Hilt has a lotus pommel.