In excavated condition, with copper alloy hilt.
Base 10.5 cm
Middle 4 mm
5 cm from tip 2 mm
Base 28.5 mm
Middle 26.5 mm
5 cm from tip 27 mm
10 mm from the guard
hilt side (!)
Copper alloy, iron. Probably wood inside the hilt.
Mainland Southeast Asia
Probably 18th century
European antique art market
Anything similar for sale?
A southeast Asian sword in excavated condition. The blade with moderate curvature mostly concentrated near the base of the blade. It starts relatively thick at the base and then tapers to a thin point.
The hilt consists of an eight-lobed guard, typical for this type of sword, and a bronze hilt that consists of three segments. At the seem between the segments are grooved bands to conceal them, one slightly opened.
The pommel plate is a separate piece with raised decor and a small ring at the end. Iron has merged with the last segment, probably from an iron object that had been buried right next to it. The decor is identical to that on a Thai elephant bell that was donated to the British Museum in 1887 by Sir Ernest Mason Satow. See accession number 1887,0716.12.
The decor is quite rare, as apart from the lobed guard this style of sword is usually very plain.
This piece is quite similar to another piece listed here, which I had radiocarbon dated and X-ray fluorescence tested, which wasn't conclusive but indicated that it most likely dated to the late 18th century.
In conversations with collector Iain Norman he pointed out how many of these in local museums seem to be attributed to the Battle of Rạch Gầm-Xoài Mút. It was fought between the Vietnamese Tây Sơn forces and an army of Siam in present-day Tiền Giang Province in the Meikong river delta in the south of Vietnam on January 20, 1785.
On the Siamese side there were some 20.000 sailors and 30.000 infantry, using 300 warships, aided by some 3000-4000 troops of the north Vietnamese Gia Long emperor. On the Tây Sơn side were 30.000 men with 55 warships, 100 sailing boats and 300 canoes.
It resulted in a decisive Tây Sơn victory, with an estimated 40.000 killed on the Siamese side, and their entiry navy destroyed. Today, treasure hunters still dredge and dig up swords from this battle, and it seems likely that the ones on the market -including this one- can be dated back to that event.
Do you have anything for sale?
I might be interested in buying it.Contact me
With silver overlay on iron even continued on its hilt.
Fine Mindan dha with a scene from the Ramayana on its blade.
Fine silver overlaid dha made in Mindan village, south of Mandalay, gained fame in the 19th century.
One of the rarest forms of dha, with a hilt and scabbard carved like a bird.
The thick and heavy blade is marked with a script that has yet to be identified.