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Old 16th October 2018, 03:16 AM   #1
Hotspur
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Default Burmese Festival Dha or Tourista?

Feeling froggy the other day and found one of these at a fair wallhanging price. Having done some reading here and hitting the regular links
http://dharesearch.bowditch.us/Intr...e1Main_Page.htm
http://dharesearch.bowditch.us/Deco...ame1Source1.htm
the overlay on the blades was well described and we can see these quite regular examples with less care taken to the margins than others.

I came across a sibling to the one inbound here and I will be able to tell if it is plated brass, or other alloy. Here, a completed auction
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/ite...story-dha-sword

The decoration most identical to the auction piece and also with a 30" blade. The butterflies leading to spirits and capturing or retaining souls? Nats new to me but I am still reading. These seem huge! At 47", I can see why the seller's shipping cost reflects that size.

I guess my questions remain two-fold. Why the differences between round or more blossomed would be one. Secondly whether these were meant at all for general local consumption, or entirely market pieces? Mostly, I am curious about the pommel differences. The spiritual mythology and interesting study I'll be reading more about. Kind of like a native American dream catcher, or medicine wheel.

Cheers
GC
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Old 16th October 2018, 06:59 AM   #2
Ian
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Hi hotspur:

The examples you describe and show are 20th C. versions of more valuable, older swords. The hilts and scabbards on the 20th C. examples are covered with copper alloy sheets (in yellow or white metal) that have been embossed with various traditional designs--the chiseling and repousse work can be quite good on some of these, but often they are low-medium grade work at best. The blades are almost always poor quality and not hardened, with koftgari work that is rather rough and low quality compared with older examples. These 20th C. versions are purely decorative items IMHO. The examples from the early part of the 20th C. (1920s and 1930s) seem better quality than later, while post WWII versions seem to be particularly poor.

Quote:
Why the differences between round or more blossomed would be one.
I'm assuming you mean the pommel shapes here. These are representations of lotus buds, the lotus being of sacred importance in Buddhist traditions. AFAIK these are just stylistic differences.

Quote:
Secondly whether these were meant at all for general local consumption, or entirely market pieces?
I expect the market was both domestic consumption and for foreign tourists.

Look forward to seeing your new acquisition.

Ian.
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Old 19th October 2018, 05:01 PM   #3
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I've attached a pdf regarding some of the mythology and particularly the butterflies pertain to to the symbology. The sheet metal is indeed plated brass and the scabbard six sections of sheet joined as a tube. The design embossed is actually quite expertly joined in matching the patterns at the seam. Much like doing wallpaper. The six butterflies per side quite well centered as well, which is a good trick considering the taper of the scabbard is not uniform. The whole is indeed four feet long, which makes for a rather imposing presence.

Cheers
GC
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