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Old 9th August 2016, 05:16 AM   #1
Ian
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Default Typical Lao silverwork on a daab

This was a relatively inexpensive pick-up last night from an online auction. What struck me was the nice silver work on the hilt and scabbard. This style of repoussed silver is typical of Lao work, but also seen in neighboring Thailand. As a result one often sees the attribution of "Thai/Lao daab" to this style of sword. Typically, the repoussed silver work is assembled in panels, as shown here on the hilt and scabbard, and the same style of silver work is still seen on contemporary high end swords coming from this region.

This particular sword is likely 19th C or perhaps a little earlier. There is some minor wear and tear that I plan to repair and the silver work needs a polish. I'll post updated pictures when it is restored to somewhat of its former glory.

The pictures come from the seller's auction.

Overall length 30.5 in
Blade length 17.5 in

Note: A high blade length/overall length ratio is common for Thai/Lao swords.

Ian.
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Old 9th August 2016, 06:30 AM   #2
Gavin Nugent
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Hi Ian,

I'd be more inclined to place this in to the 20th century.

Gavin
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Old 9th August 2016, 06:43 AM   #3
Ian
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Gavin:

You may be correct but let's wait and see what it looks like in hand and after cleaning. I'm hoping for 19th C. There is no good picture of the blade, which may have been overly cleaned.
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Old 9th August 2016, 09:52 AM   #4
Sajen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin Nugent
Hi Ian,

I'd be more inclined to place this in to the 20th century.

Gavin


Hi Ian,

I've seen this daab as well and think that Gavin is correct but like always I can be wrong. The blade seems to have a very rough finish. Still a nice piece.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 9th August 2016, 11:50 AM   #5
CharlesS
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Yes, agreed, based on what's here to see so far, I'd say this is 20th century work.
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Old 21st February 2017, 10:49 PM   #6
Ian
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Default Cleaned up a bit

It has taken me a while to get to this sword and clean it up. For those who thought this was a 20th C. piece, I can certainly agree that the blade is probably late 20th C. and from northern Thailand. It is an inferior piece of monosteel that is not worth considering further.

However, what interested me when I first saw this piece was the hilt and scabbard, both of which are divided into "cells" or segments, with repoussed elements that alternate between plants and animals (a squirrel and fish). This is all done in silver that was heavily oxidized when I got the sword, and took some time to polish. I feel confident that the silver work is 19th C. and the repousse work is reasonably good. There are areas of damage, consistent with age, and the oxidation was well established in the areas of damage suggesting that it occurred some time ago.

The sword was obviously dressed up with a new blade to sell it. The hilt had been attached with a few drops of glue and readily came apart from the handle. These is some residual old resin in the hilt, and the wood cores of the hilt and the scabbard show some age. In looking at the scabbard in particular, it is obvious that it has been together for a long time.

One interesting point on the scabbard is the area where a rope baldric would have been wound around the scabbard throat--this is a plain sheet of unadorned silver and there are faint impressions remaining of where the rope had been wrapped around it.

Hilt = 11 inches
Scabbard = 19.5 inches

Ian.

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Lao daab with silver fittings

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Old 22nd February 2017, 06:37 AM   #7
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Hi Ian,

I see this sword had been posted in the Burma story Dah thread with another. I've put forth further thoughts there;

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=69

Gavin
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