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Old 13th May 2021, 08:53 AM   #1
Iain
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Default A Burmese dha with some interesting features

Its been a long time since I shared anything from my collection which pivoted to mainly Asian arms over the pandemic after a long hiatus from collecting anything. I'll gradually post a few dha/daab in the coming weeks that forumites might find enjoyable.

This is an interesting little piece that turned up in the post yesterday. The scabbard has seen better days but one of the rattan bands is still there. Gorgeous patterning on the hardwood handle and brass niello inlay on the copper alloy fittings. The pommel cap is missing, but was likely simply a simple cap and these seem to often get knocked off, the original resin used to hold it is still in place.

The blade is a bit of a gem, with complex fullering, spine fullering and a lovely transition to a V shaped spine across the rest of the distal taper. It is a bit unusual in that it has engraved script on both sides, an online contact was kind enough to translate it: ဘေးယံကင်း = "Safe" and on the reverse ယံရှင်းဓား = "A sword to remove strife/danger". Likely an auspicious or symbolic set of sayings. The manner of spelling used is consistent with linguistic modernisations that occurred during the later portion of the Konbaung period.

Not the most impressive dha for size or age that I own (and it may not stay that long in the collection) but a very enjoyable piece to have spent an evening with giving a light cleaning, photographing and studying.
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Old 13th May 2021, 08:27 PM   #2
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What a beautiful blade! Thanks for sharing the learning from this.
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Old 13th May 2021, 09:03 PM   #3
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How did you manage to get the translations?
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Old 13th May 2021, 09:58 PM   #4
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Thanks, Iain! I am absolutely delighted! This is the most elegant Burmese blade I've ever seen! I think the handle is made from sanded bamboo root.

In the photo, what could serve as material for the handle
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Old 14th May 2021, 07:45 AM   #5
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How did you manage to get the translations?
Two native Burmese speakers.
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Old 14th May 2021, 07:49 AM   #6
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Thanks, Iain! I am absolutely delighted! This is the most elegant Burmese blade I've ever seen! I think the handle is made from sanded bamboo root.

In the photo, what could serve as material for the handle
It could well be, most often I've seen rosewood used but the grain on this one is different.

It really is a charming little blade, the mix of fullers and different profiles on the spine I find fascinating. The inlay on the hilt components I also find intriguing. The sword overall does not appear ornate at first glance but has a lot of detail.
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Old 14th May 2021, 07:50 AM   #7
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What a beautiful blade! Thanks for sharing the learning from this.
Thanks for the kind comment. Learning is what drives me to collect and I tend to focus on the somewhat unusual examples.
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Old 14th May 2021, 10:24 PM   #8
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It really is a charming little blade, the mix of fullers and different profiles on the spine I find fascinating. The inlay on the hilt components I also find intriguing. The sword overall does not appear ornate at first glance but has a lot of detail.
This blade is decorated with great taste and attention to detail. It is so harmonious that it is impossible to judge its size if you do not hold it in your hands.
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Old 17th May 2021, 08:23 AM   #9
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This blade is decorated with great taste and attention to detail. It is so harmonious that it is impossible to judge its size if you do not hold it in your hands.
It is fairly petite, I'll see if I can find time today to do a pic with a few others to show the actual size a little better. It is only 75cm overall.
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