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Old 21st October 2021, 05:45 PM   #1
Iain
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Default Old northern Thai daab

Been waiting a while for this one to show up and quite pleased with it. An unusual example (although others that are similar are out there) with a tankou that differs from the ones found on Thai made katana, a cast bronze hilt and a beautiful and elegant blade similar to another early sword I've shared before (and included here in the 'group' image). Note the sunburst design on the guard.

Almost 90cm overall, blade is just under 63cm and the spine, which has a v-ridge typical to this area, is about 11mm at the base. Pommel is of the lotus bud type. One of the nicest handling daab I've had the pleasure to own and one of the most elegantly proportioned.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 01:17 PM   #2
CharlesS
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Lovely example, and interesting with the sleeve at the forte.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 02:25 PM   #3
Ian
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Another great daab Iain! I'm thinking it is from the early Rattanakosin period at the end of the 18th C or very early 19th C. It could be late Ayutthaya, but the bronze hilt (rather than iron) makes me think it is later, while the hilt appears shorter and somewhat wider in diameter than most Ayutthaya daab. What do you think?
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Old 22nd October 2021, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Lovely example, and interesting with the sleeve at the forte.
Thanks Charles,

The tonkou feature is not particularly common but also not massively rare. This style of tonkou is similar to those found on Chinese and Vietnamese weapons.


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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Another great daab Iain! I'm thinking it is from the early Rattanakosin period at the end of the 18th C or very early 19th C. It could be late Ayutthaya, but the bronze hilt (rather than iron) makes me think it is later, while the hilt appears shorter and somewhat wider in diameter than most Ayutthaya daab. What do you think?
Hi Ian, I wouldn't lean too heavily on the hilt material as a determining factor for age given that this sword is likely from the north and wouldn't necessarily conform to what you see on iron hilted Ayutthaya daab which are very much too a pattern. The blade shape of this one of course is also different to those swords. The hilting is more similar to the bronze hilted swords used during the Ayutthaya period by boatmen.

The grip is actually quite small in diameter compared to others I have while the grip length is similar in proportion to other old Lao or northern Thai examples I have, actually a bit longer proportionally than the sword in the last image below it, in terms of the ratio of hilt to blade length. Generally speaking this form seems to feature shorter hilts than southern swords, at least in my limited experience.

As to age, as you know I feel we can never be all that sure, but in the hand it gives the impression it is older than the other two in the group image I shared. That's of course highly subjective but I don't think its any younger than the 18th century.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 11:42 PM   #5
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Thanks, Iain! You never get tired of surprising with gorgeous items!

The tonkou shape really evokes associations with swords from Vietnam.
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