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Old 30th March 2020, 07:44 PM   #1
drac2k
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Default On the "lighter side."

A short while back I purchased a huge pair of Temple or Dance Dhas; they measure approx. 41" long and .25" thick at the base of the spine. I confess that the main reason why I bought them was that they once belonged to the movie star Shirly Temple
I think that it is interesting that she bought these random items and others of a similar nature only much more exotic!
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Old 30th March 2020, 10:38 PM   #2
ariel
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Inflation-wise, $30 for there swords would be $254.
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Old 31st March 2020, 12:41 AM   #3
Jim McDougall
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This is really amazing!!
I have no idea what firm this was, but by its name it sounds almost like a company dealing with perhaps former props and materials from movie studios. I know that in California in the late 70s I knew guys who were able to get some remarkable weapons from studio prop warehouses selling off very old items from the golden age of Hollywood.

In the old classics like "Gunga Din" and so many others, while many items used were props, they used a great deal of actual antique arms, so much so for example that Rudolph Valentino (who us old timers still remember) became an avid collector.
Basil Rathbone was an actual fencing master, and many stars and movie persons would embellish their Hollywood mansions with these kinds of exotica they had seen used in these movies.

While Shirley Temple was somewhat inactive in movies in 1963, possibly she was recalling those early times by acquiring such exotic items she had seen in those years.

Charles Addams, the cartoonist who created the macabre images that became the iconic TV series and movies, collected antique arms and armor.

Fascinating acquisition, and totally unique!!!!
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Old 31st March 2020, 04:34 AM   #4
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Drac:

Fascinating pieces. Do you think the swords are functional--tempered steel?

About 20 years ago I bought several swords from an online seller that had been used in movies. One was from Yul Brynner's 1962 movie Taras Bulba. The sword was a M1862 U.S. cavalry saber, with the hilt and guard replaced by a cast metal hilt and no guard. It is very long and difficult to wield, definitely a cavalry weapon. It apparently looked exotic enough for the movie producer.

Ian.
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Old 31st March 2020, 01:48 PM   #5
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Thank you, gentlemen, for your interesting observations.
Several years ago, a large collection of weapons was liquidated on eBay from a movie studio; I acquired several nice pieces and several as Ian alluded to, which were good pieces, modified(ruined), for a particular movie.
In regards to the dhas actual use, I am a little unsure of. They are long and very heavy; wedge-shaped, but not sharp. If they were dance or temple dhas, they should be much lighter; I would think, cut out of sheet metal. Was the edge taken off because she didn't want two massively sharp items hanging on the wall that could hurt someone or were they just made as souvenirs?
Basil Rathbone was one of my favorites and a sword used in the movie "Taras Bulba," starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis is just about as good as it gets...........................unless you got an ax from the movie "The Vikings," starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis!
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Old 31st March 2020, 06:08 PM   #6
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Hi Drac2k,
Your swords are not dha's they are Lao daab with samrit alloy hilts and are from Lan chang - lan xang the Laos kingdom dated 18th through to 19thc, they are not made for film props or for temple use/dancing, they are real weapons of the old Kingdom of Lan Chang likely used by the royal elephant troupe. Polished the fittings would appear to be very gold like to go with the uniforms of red and golden yellow, the blades are set with white cement into tubular samrit alloy hilts that are made from flat sheet metal and joined, you often see a seam on them on the underside and the tangs of these blades are long, around 8 inches.
These may well have been elephant foot guards swords for the soldiers of the elephant troupe, they used them in pairs that were large compared to other smaller swords, the hilts often being curved and all having lotus bud pommels, there were 2 or as many as 4 guards who protected the elephants legs and feet and it would have been a great honor and a sign of a very skilled swordsman to be in that place of war elephants foot guard in Laos and Siam.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 31st March 2020, 08:50 PM   #7
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WOW Detlef, once again your insight and knowledge prevail! To me, nothing could be cooler than a sword used to guard an elephant!
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Old 31st March 2020, 09:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Thank you, gentlemen, for your interesting observations.
Several years ago, a large collection of weapons was liquidated on eBay from a movie studio; I acquired several nice pieces and several as Ian alluded to, which were good pieces, modified(ruined), for a particular movie.
In regards to the dhas actual use, I am a little unsure of. They are long and very heavy; wedge-shaped, but not sharp. If they were dance or temple dhas, they should be much lighter; I would think, cut out of sheet metal. Was the edge taken off because she didn't want two massively sharp items hanging on the wall that could hurt someone or were they just made as souvenirs?
Basil Rathbone was one of my favorites and a sword used in the movie "Taras Bulba," starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis is just about as good as it gets...........................unless you got an ax from the movie "The Vikings," starring Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis!



Temple dha's??? Were those Shirley's ? Just kidding.

In the many times Errol Flynn was paired with Basil Rathbone in swashbuckling movies, he was often miffed at having to 'lose' in sword battles with the far lesser swordsman Flynn.

You are so much on the same page as I am with these movies.....these I blame totally for a lifetime obsession with sword history.
I remember "Last of the Mohicans" with Daniel Day-Lewis, and Russell Means, the 'gunstock' war club (painted blue). I became curious about these and eventually reached Americana sage Norm Flayderman, who informed me that these were NOT used by woodland tribes and despite the lore, the Plains tribes who did use them did NOT used old gun stocks. They were simply similar and had knife blades inserted.
I then reached the Tennessee maker who fashioned these for the movie, who said he made five, and of course, these simply were license oriented.

Thinking of the famed illustrations of pirates in pirate stories, which are fantastic despite the fact that the brass hilt cutlasses depicted were actually Civil War navy cutlasses.

In the 70s I will never forget one guy who got a Bengal Cavalry saber inscribed, I forget which unit but rare to see these. He got it from a movie studio warehouse sale near Los Angeles.
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Old 31st March 2020, 09:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
WOW Detlef, once again your insight and knowledge prevail! To me, nothing could be cooler than a sword used to guard an elephant!


Frankly said it isn't my knowledge, I've gleaned it from a very good friend of mine who shared his great knowledge over the last years with me.
Like said, I would like to see them cleaned up, also a polish of the blades and a light etch I would suggest, I think you will be very surprised.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 1st April 2020, 04:25 AM   #10
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Agree 100% with Detlef. Clean them up and you will have a lovely pair of late 18th C daab. Then you should insure them.
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Old 1st April 2020, 04:32 AM   #11
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They sure were Shirley's; Mrs. Charles A. Black was her married name. Errol Flynn was also another one of my favorites; his personal life was as fascinating as the movies he made!
I'm going to hold off on that etch; I tried it once and the results scared the heck out of me!
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Old 1st April 2020, 08:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
I'm going to hold off on that etch; I tried it once and the results scared the heck out of me!


When you polish up the blades it will be ok, they will show by etching a hardened edge, you will recognize it by the sanding!
Don't think that the blades are laminated.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 5th April 2020, 01:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Temple dha's??? Were those Shirley's ? Just kidding.

In the many times Errol Flynn was paired with Basil Rathbone in swashbuckling movies, he was often miffed at having to 'lose' in sword battles with the far lesser swordsman Flynn.

You are so much on the same page as I am with these movies.....these I blame totally for a lifetime obsession with sword history.
I remember "Last of the Mohicans" with Daniel Day-Lewis, and Russell Means, the 'gunstock' war club (painted blue). I became curious about these and eventually reached Americana sage Norm Flayderman, who informed me that these were NOT used by woodland tribes and despite the lore, the Plains tribes who did use them did NOT used old gun stocks. They were simply similar and had knife blades inserted.
I then reached the Tennessee maker who fashioned these for the movie, who said he made five, and of course, these simply were license oriented.

Thinking of the famed illustrations of pirates in pirate stories, which are fantastic despite the fact that the brass hilt cutlasses depicted were actually Civil War navy cutlasses.

In the 70s I will never forget one guy who got a Bengal Cavalry saber inscribed, I forget which unit but rare to see these. He got it from a movie studio warehouse sale near Los Angeles.

On Hollywood accuracy with regard to arms and armor, one word. Braveheart.
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Old 5th April 2020, 08:38 AM   #14
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Please post pictures when you have cleaned it up!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 5th April 2020, 01:42 PM   #15
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Will do; I seem to have a lot more "free time," lately.
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Old 15th April 2020, 02:30 AM   #16
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If you look at the invoice, I saw the "Indian dagger" with the rock crystal hilt for sale recently with a copy of the same original invoice provided as provenance. It is nice to think Shirley would have been at home on this forum
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Old 15th April 2020, 03:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

Basil Rathbone was an actual fencing master, !


Hey Jim, wasn't Douglas Fairbanks also a fencer?
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