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Old 29th January 2023, 10:43 AM   #1
kronckew
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Default Pirate sword or chinese Dha?

This item was posted earlier in Jim McD's Pirate sword thread.
I have just run across some interesting items.


The grip appears to made from a travelling brush/pen inkwell thingy (picture attached) with the inkwell part cut off. A brass finger guard repurposed for the front & the blade inserted. The pommel does not have a peened tang, just the original brush tube cap. Not sure where the brass finger guard came from.



I've found the blade is very similar to those made in Yunnan province for Burmese Dhas, and might also be from there for Chinese style Dao.
19.5" blade, 1 in. wide , 3/8" thick at grip (1/4" at 1" from grip) distal taper to 1/8" at tip, concaved blade spine to halfway, then spine is grooved either side to the tip, single fuller runs the full length. blade tip may have been shortened, but early yunnan dhas had a tip like that.


Mine appears to be a marriage made for a western buyer (or a chinese pirate ). I've removed the leather thong wrap someone added later.
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Last edited by kronckew; 29th January 2023 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 29th January 2023, 12:56 PM   #2
Sajen
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Hello Wayne,
What an interesting sword! And a good research on the handle.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 29th January 2023, 03:01 PM   #3
kronckew
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Thanks, the leather scabbard is also a bit odd, not DHA-like at all… When I first got it, it had a short hairy brown animal fur on the outside, mostly fallen off though. It's now quite bare. The seam on the centre of the back (?) side is well sewn in an XXXXXXX pattern. Probably a later owner's addition, as is the blue/white/red paracord suspension I've added, so I could hang it on a hook. I note that when worn on the left side, the seam is facing away from the body. Made for a southpaw?
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Old 31st January 2023, 10:08 AM   #4
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this sword (at the very least the blade and the sheath) looks like what in the NL is known as a modified " klewang", note that this klewang is not the weapon from Indonesia but a weapon originating in the NL and which was used in Indonesia by the Dutch troops. Klewangs were used from the late 19th century until the end of the Dutch occupation of Indonesia in the late '50

These weapons, in fact cutlasses, were used for a very long time indeed and the local population of the many parts of Dutch east Indies , got hold of blades and repurposed them and modified often times replacing the original hilt and guard.


The general shape, fuller and the sheath, certainly look like a Dutch Klewang which was modified some time after having been acquired or captured in Indonesia.


something like this ( this one not as heavily modified, in my opinion, as yours)

https://www.militariazone.com/swords...6#.Y9jdgy8w1qs


Read more about this kind of weapon here (where you also find pictures of various degrees of modification of such blade)

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=7375





You will see that your scabbard is certainly one which started its life in the NL and then along with the blade was modified. The hilt too could have started its life in Europe and having been modified many European Swords had sud D hilts which could have been ground to look like this

Last edited by milandro; 31st January 2023 at 06:36 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 31st January 2023, 07:42 PM   #5
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Sigh....

This looks nothing like a Hei Ho klewang., not the blade, not the guard, not the grip and not the scabbard. I have a real Dutch klewang and am well aware of it, it's variants and its dimensions. ALL the hei ho ones I've seen for sale are boringly the same and very little in details. A local smithy modding the originals would have not be making them all the same, like a factory being ordered by a Japanese overlord would. I have other proper 'klewangs', and this is not in any way one.

P.s. The original Dutch sword is already shortened, compared to the Dutch swords of the time, to fit the local preferences. They did not 'allow' them to be modified by their police auxiliaries, after all the effort that went into designing and making them. The Japanese, however, had no investment in the design and modified them to their standards and issued them for their own purposes. I imagine they did not want a 'native' auxiliary to have a proper sword

My Dutchy just for comparison. These were made not only by the Dutch, (HEMBRUG) but by the USA (MILSCO) for use by US forces in WW2. Some were even made in Solingen. ALL to essentially the same exact pattern, tho later ones had a plastic grip, the rest were blueprint accurate copies. Mine was taken from Dutch stocks in Europe, and used unmodified by the Germans on their S-Boats. It was captured by a Brit in a boarding action by a Brit Naval Officer in a British MTB in WW2.
It's connection to me is one of my FILs Was in Command of a UK MTB, lost his leg in a similar melee with the Germans, and actually met the German S-Boot officer that shot him (and who's boat he'd shot up)after the war. Apparently they got along well and spent a good while telling war stories, and finally figured out their own closer connection that one fatal night. My FIL told me about two German hunting swords he'd 'liberated' from one Schnell Boot he'd captured. Sadly, he'd turned them into the police before we met during one of the UK Govt.'s war on knives and other offensive weapons.
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Old 31st January 2023, 07:54 PM   #6
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I didn't suggest this was a Japanese modified Klewang.

I suggested that this was one of the so many modifications which happend in Indonesia and not carried by anyone in office for the KNIL .

Thank you to show me your klewang, I am rather familiar with them.

I have owned one by Hembrug. I have also owned a Dutch Police sword (used by many corps locally in the Netherlands) which also looks very similar to a Klewang.
here an example of the latter
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Last edited by milandro; 31st January 2023 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 31st January 2023, 08:21 PM   #7
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Nope. European Briquets/Fascine messers/ i.e. 'infantry swords', are not Heiho. And nothing like mine. Those grips are fairly std. european type, Napoleon had many thousands of those made, as did the rest of his empire.
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Old 1st February 2023, 10:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milandro View Post
something like this ( this one not as heavily modified, in my opinion, as yours)

https://www.militariazone.com/swords...6#.Y9jdgy8w1qs
Hi Milandro. Please keep in mind that when you use a link like this to make a comparison point, in all likelihood that link will me a dead end with a few years and with sales sites like this one, perhaps even sooner. But if you take a moment to copy the image and post it directly to this forum it can remain in our archives so that these comparisons can still be seen long after a linked page is gone.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 12:22 AM   #9
kai
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This blade does not really look like any European exports.

However, a local attempt at a blade that was supposed to look similar to a colonial klewang might not be too farfetched; also quite sizeable expat communities from the Chinese coastal provinces present in Indonesia.

(BTW, I don't see any traditional dha blade style here, especially with the somewhat crude fuller. Any similar examples, Wayne?)

Regards,
Kai
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Old 2nd February 2023, 08:34 AM   #10
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Hi Kai,

The OP would pass for a modified Burmese style dha. The narrow fuller is consistent, as is the treatment of the distal spine. While it might be from Yunnan, it could also be from Rangoon. I would put the blade as late 19th C.

Not a style of dha likely to be produced in Thailand or Laos.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 09:22 AM   #11
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I've found a few pictures of daab/dha from the golden triangle area on commercial sword sites, these 'lotus' tip blades with the exact same fullers and spine shapes and same length as mine, along with the more lengthy Burmese style hilts. I am satisfied the blade is from there, possibly Yunnan, where someone has tarted it up with the bits from a handy middle eastern writing case and a guard from something else handy. The Burmese and Thai swords made in this style were obviously mimicking the old Japanese Kogarasumaru (little crow) type sword from Japan,


See C0001 on Mar's excellent Dha research site at http://dharesearch.bowditch.us/C0001.htm , even has pics of the same hollowed spine as mine. some of the sidebar details may be incorrect.
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