Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 23rd July 2007, 03:02 PM   #1
Mark
Member
 
Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988
Default Wooden daab blades at the Smithsonian

Here is a sample of the other main reason from my latest visit to the Smithsonian (when I examined the controversial katana-style Thai daab).

There is a collection of 34 wooden blades, ranging in size from a few centimeters up to about 59 centimeters. They are full replicas of blades, with proper dimensions of blade, tang, spine, etc. (or at least as close as one can expect to come in the softer medium of wood). The shapes are quite fantastic, with the larger ones showing the most unusual of the shapes. Some of the larger ones had writing on them, which I attempted to photograph with mixed success.

These were donated to the Smithsonian by the Siamese government after the Louisiana Purchase Centennial Exposition in 1903, along with many other pieces, and I assume that they were displayed in the Siamese Pavilion.

I am hoping that our Thai colleagues can shed some light on these mysterious items. Two possibilities that occurred to me were (a) that they are models actually used by smiths for customers to choose what style blade to have made, and (b) that they are models meant purely to show the variety of Thai blade styles, perhaps made specifically for the exhibition. The Natural History Museum on-line catalogue seems to be down at the moment, but I will check to see if there is any detail in the accession record, which I neglected to check while I was there.
Attached Images
  
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2007, 03:11 PM   #2
Mark
Member
 
Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988
Default

Here are details showing as best I could the writing on some of the blades.
Attached Images
     
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2007, 05:44 PM   #3
Mark
Member
 
Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988
Default Wrong provenance

I had the provenance wrong on these. Many of the edged weapons in the Smithsonian collection came from the Louisiana Purchase Centennial Expo, but these were not among them. Below is the original accession card, showing that they were collected by Rev. C.E. Eckels and accessioned by the Smithsonian in 1898.
Attached Images
 
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2007, 06:40 PM   #4
PUFF
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 30 miles north of Bangkok, 20 miles south of Ayuthaya, Thailand
Posts: 224
Default

Blast!!!.. I 'm about to go to bed. But your pics might yield me another sleepless night

Fisrt of all, please accept my sincerely thanks for sharing these precious pics. And please turn on Thai encoding in your browser.

The inscription 's in old words. Many are not in used.

Petchaburi is a province name, 80 miles south of Bangkok

มีดเง้าปังโตดำไทยปลายเจ๊ก is a polearm blade (Ngao/เง้า/ง้าว, Naginata style) with Thai (ไทย) handle (ดำ/ด้ำ/ด้าม) which, in this case might refers to either blade body, pole or tang) and Chinese (เจ๊ก) end/tip (ปลาย)

ระดิงหัวเสียบสวน : Totally no idea for ระดิง but my expert friends might heard it. หัวเสียบสวน might refer to its tip
หัว/Hua/head,tip
เสียบ/Siab/push
สวน/Suan/ adv. against, n. garden

มีดตอกกลาง is the easiest one, central style rattan shredder
มีด/mead/knife
ตอก/tok/n. rattan
กลาง/klang/central

น้ำวน means whirlpool, I have no idea, refer to tip shape, perhaps.

IMHO: these are models for one who was tried to archive styles of Thai knives. Again, this collection 's very valueable for us. Many many thanks for sharing.

Last edited by PUFF : 23rd July 2007 at 06:54 PM.
PUFF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2007, 09:08 PM   #5
Mark
Member
 
Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988
Smile

My pleasure!

Thank you for the translations. I made fairly detailed measurements and individual photos of the larger blades, and of a couple representative small ones. I will post the full pictures and measurements of the ones with the writing which I posted here.

I plan to create a page on my web-site dedicated to this little collection, with all the photos and measurements that I took. Seeing the whole blade will probably make the descriptions make fore sense ("whirlpool" may refer to a whorled protrusion near the tip, as seen, for example, on the middle blade of the second photo).
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2007, 11:47 PM   #6
Mark
Member
 
Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988
Post More photos

Here are photos of the full blades of the details posted above. The measurements (in cm) are as follows (NB: "tip" spine width is taken 1 cm back from the tip itself):

First:
blade length - 46.1
widest span (edge to spine) - 9.3/10.1 (first/second "peaks" from tang)
tang length - 12.5
spine width at tang - 0.9
span width at tip - 0.2

Second:
blade length - 56.5
widest span (edge to spine) - 7.9
tang length - 11.6
spine width at tang - 1.0
span width at tip - 0.2

Third:
blade length - 32.6
widest span (edge to spine) - 5.1
tang length - 7.7
spine width at tang - 0.8
span width at tip - 0.2

Fourth:
no detailed measurements take, but it is small, about 16 cm in length

Fifth:
blade length - 38.2
widest span (edge to spine) - 9.5
tang length - 11.1
spine width at tang - 0.9
span width at tip - 0.3
Attached Images
     
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2007, 11:59 PM   #7
Mark
Member
 
Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 988
Default

Here is a group picture of the last tray of blades, to show the variety of shapes. to give an idea of scale, the blade at the bottom of this tray is the first in the series above, which is 46.1 cm long.
Attached Images
 
Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th July 2007, 01:53 PM   #8
~Alaung_Hpaya~
Member
 
~Alaung_Hpaya~'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 65
Default

Wow great set of shapes . I few of the shorter shapes are similar to utilitarian blades I've seen in Burma but many are quite weird and interesting .
~Alaung_Hpaya~ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th July 2007, 02:48 PM   #9
PUFF
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 30 miles north of Bangkok, 20 miles south of Ayuthaya, Thailand
Posts: 224
Default

I forgot to translate the 3rd item, มีดโต้ลาว / Lao's chopper
มีด/mead/knife
โต้/Toe/Dao or chopper
ลาว/Lao/Lao people

Alaung_Hpaya, these designs are very regional and most of them are also weird to me. That because they are so utilitarian type that they rarely went to museum.
PUFF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st May 2010, 03:56 AM   #10
PUFF
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: 30 miles north of Bangkok, 20 miles south of Ayuthaya, Thailand
Posts: 224
Default

A "Wall Catalog" in a folk shop.









PUFF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 11:22 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.