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Old 21st May 2006, 11:14 PM   #1
kronckew
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Default Egyptian Curved Sword with scabbord

Found this one on e-bay, seems no one else wanted it, so i adopted it for my dha / darb collection. pommel looks a bit thai to me, but what do i know.....when it arrives i'll stick up a few more photo's inc. the 'arabic' inscription so mebbe someone can say whether it's thai, viet or burmese.....

Ebay Item 6630469034


(didn't look overly egyptian to me. )
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Old 21st May 2006, 11:40 PM   #2
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I wish I had seen that one. Great find and congrats.
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Old 22nd May 2006, 02:29 AM   #3
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kronckew

g'day
i agree with you, didn't look overly egyptian, its look more dha...
but its nice great sword...
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Old 22nd May 2006, 08:54 AM   #4
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Fantastic buy!! Shame about the nail, sure you could sort that out.
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Old 22nd May 2006, 02:26 PM   #5
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Fantastic find, well done. I too wish I had seen it. Strange that the seller thought 'Egyptian', but placed it in the sub-catergory 'Japanese/Samurai'... An Egyptian Katana, perhaps
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Old 22nd May 2006, 03:44 PM   #6
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Very nice find!

I'm feeling a little grumpy because a computer malfunction prevented me from bidding on the dha I wanted last night.
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Old 22nd May 2006, 04:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HartCone
i agree with you, didn't look overly egyptian, its look more dha...
Yes, that is a Burman dha. It is funny that the seller didn't show the "Arabic" letters on the ferrule more clearly. They are hard to see, but they do look like Burmese letters.
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Old 24th May 2006, 03:48 PM   #8
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well , the dha arrived today, it's better than i expected. brown stains on blade were grease which cleaned off.

scabbard is very well made, better and lighter/thinner than my other dha's, the brass bands are all decorated with pointillé designs.

the wooden grip, is covered at either end in what appears to be silver. the centre section is a brass covered section with further pointillé designs, chief of which is a bird surmounted by what appears to be a burmese inscription. the silver section nearest the blade is also engraved with a burmese inscription.

the blade is 25" long, 1" at the hilt, 1.25" at it's widest near the point, 3/8" thick at the hilt, distally tapering to the point. the 1st third of the spine is rounded, the latter 2/3 of the spine is square, there are two narrow fullers that run to within a couple inches of the point, and a fine groove cut above it for about the 1st 1/3 from the hilt. the blade is not inlaid with silver scrolls & brass spine inlays as is my other dha, but appears to be more buisness-like.

a magnet was used to discover tha tang extends thru the first silver section and the brass section as well, but not into the pommel section. it is drilled near the blade end for a dowel or rivet, which hole is currently filled with a steel nail. the nail appears to be fairly old and is worn by use. the visible wooden part of the grip where the tang is inserted appears to have a wooden wedge either side of the blade hammered in to keep the assembly tight.

pictures: if anyone has any idea what the inscriptions are, i'd be grateful for a translation.






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Old 24th May 2006, 06:10 PM   #9
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That is a fine piece! Congratulations.
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Old 24th May 2006, 07:35 PM   #10
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Very nice, indeed. I think someone here knows how to read Burmese, but I can't remember who. The peacock on the grip is that national symbol of Burma, by the way.

The first inscription is up-side-down, though. I turned it around below.

And just to impress everyone with my idiot-savant abilities ( ) ... . I can usually at least sound out the words in Burmese, but this one contains some consonent sounds and diacriticals that I can't figure out. I was hoping for a date (those are easy), but there isn't any. The most I can get from the ferrule inscription is:

__ tu' __ pa'

__ thu' (or maybe thui', in either case with a "high" tone)

sa' ti' nra (and some diacritical I can't figure out)

It is the first letter/cluster in the first and second lines (appears twice in the first line, actually - what looks like a left-facing cresent overlapped by a circle) that I can't find, and the downward swooping line at the end of the second (well, just before the double-dot diacritical) and the third lines. I think the swoop is a diacritical of some sort (additions to consonants that determine vowel sounds, vowel position, and tone).

The engraving on the handle is easier to parse out, but there is again one letter/cluster I can't get:

ba' ma' tui __e'n~ min

In all of these I had to put the accents and tildes after the letter. These are the "classic" pronunciations - modern pronunciation is apparently a little different.

So now anyone who actually reads and speaks Burmese can mock me. I read somewhere that it takes about 2 years to become proficient in Burmese, so I have a long way to go.
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Old 24th May 2006, 07:47 PM   #11
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Default One more thing ...

About the nail - the blade likely came loose as the wood of the handle aged and shrank, so someone, very likely not someone Burmese or Thai, drilled through the handle and tang and put in the nail. What you found about the tang length is exactly right for a dha. They are very short, and the blade is just held in with a pressure fit, and in most cases an adhesive such as pitch. Taking out the nail and repairing the holes would restore it to the traditional form.

One other thought about the inscription - it might not be Burmese at all, but rather Mon (people in southern Myamar, whom the Burmese call Talaing). I believe the same basic alphabet is used by both, but there are differences in how they are written because they are very different languages. That might explain the odd letters/diacriticals.

Last edited by Mark Bowditch; 24th May 2006 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 24th May 2006, 11:18 PM   #12
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thanks for all that work mark, i'm glad you were able to make some sense
of it, i like knowing all i can find out about my collection items. i was hoping
there was a date on it in the inscriptions so i'd have an idea of how old it
is.

i'll be leaving the nail in for now, may replace it with a silver pin later. the
tang on the new one is about an inch or so longer than the one on my
other burmese dha, the tang on this one extends about 3.5" into the grip:



shown with a 21" kukhri. the dha was brought back from burma by a chindit
who took it off a japanese who no longer needed it. i gather the japanese
had taken it off a burmese who no longer needed it. the chindit of course
used his kukhri to convince the japanese of the need to visit his ancestors.



silver niello work on the blade sides and spine. the bit on the spine has a
gold border.


my naga dha just to complete the set.

i had a parang (~12" blade) last weekend that looked like the previous owner
had secured the tang to the grip with some crumbling powdery substance, it
came loose with a slight pull to reveal a 2" tang tapering from about 1/2" wide
down to 1/4", i reset it in the wood handle with some resin & tested it out on
a 2 inch thick branch in my garden that needed removal. branch did not survive,
parang did & handle is not going anywhere. they made them like that thru many
centuries and i'm sure if they were not strong enough, they'd not be made that way.

Last edited by kronckew; 25th May 2006 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 26th May 2006, 11:34 PM   #13
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Definitely NOT Egyptian, as you probably know very well already that is a dha.

Why the seller thought it was Egyptian is absolutely beyond me. Any "Egyptian swords" would probably look like Turkish Kilijs, because Egypt was after all part of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 AD up until 1882 when it was invaded by the British, even then it remained officially part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914.

Congratulations on getting a very nice dha.
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Old 27th May 2006, 10:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqtai
Definitely NOT Egyptian, as you probably know very well already that is a dha.

Why the seller thought it was Egyptian is absolutely beyond me. Any "Egyptian swords" would probably look like Turkish Kilijs, because Egypt was after all part of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 AD up until 1882 when it was invaded by the British, even then it remained officially part of the Ottoman Empire until 1914.

Congratulations on getting a very nice dha.
yes, to us it was a bit obvious what it really was , to the vendor, who was a woman, she had no idea. after i won it, i messaged her to let her know what it really was, she replied that she'd asked someone what it was and i quote "...the silly arse..." told her he thought it was egyptian. i assume it was her husband from that remark .

one of these days i'll snag a nice turkish kilij - which no doubt will be listed as an 'indian tulwar'

i keep my eyes open for listing anomalies on ebay as it can lead to good deals sometimes.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 01:02 AM   #15
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found this old thread while researching for another thread. as the original pics of my 'egyptian sword' no longer exist, i'll add some back as attachments.

(one of my favourite swords and a very fine burmese dha)
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Old 22nd February 2015, 02:38 AM   #16
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So cool.
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Old 22nd February 2015, 10:52 AM   #17
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Yup, agree with Andrew, very nice!
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Old 22nd February 2015, 12:12 PM   #18
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Very nice sword! Quality piece!

Regards
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Old 24th February 2015, 09:20 PM   #19
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Nice to see a new picture of this.
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Old 3rd March 2015, 11:37 PM   #20
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Hello,

I had this dha in mind when researching this possibly Yunnan piece of mine.

The dimpled treatment of the background planes of the bands struck is especially similar.

Regards,
Emanuel
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Old 4th March 2015, 09:05 AM   #21
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the stippled, dotted background is an almost universal engraving technique. my swords hilt may have been influenced by the yunnan, or visa versa. maybe by a chinese artisan in burmah. the artwork on the bronze section, the burmese phoenix, has a certain naivete not seen in more modern works that leads me to think its quite old. the bird reminds me of similar naive american eagles drawn around the revolutionary war.
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Old 4th March 2015, 02:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emanuel
Hello,

I had this dha in mind when researching this possibly Yunnan piece of mine.

The dimpled treatment of the background planes of the bands struck is especially similar.

Regards,
Emanuel
In my opinion, the background you note is seen more on Vietnamese sword silverwork and the hilt designs carry the Vietnamese flavour to me too.

Gavin
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