Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
The Burmese dha (top one) is of a style that developed in the late 19th/early 20th C and deteriorated over time up to the mid-20th C. Some people refer to these as "story dha" because of the koftgari work on the blade, which usually relates one of the traditional Burmese tales of heroism.
All of the scabbards and hilts of this style of dha that I have seen were made of repoussed brass. Yours looks to be brass also. The koftgari work on the blade is usually done with silver wire, often of low purity. Please don't try doing any cutting with one of these as the blades are untempered and very soft. The earliest versions are the best quality and have decent sharp blades with fine koftgari work and high grades of silver--these are hard to find but their quality is readily appreciated next to those made after about 1900–1910. The example you show could be as old as the 1920s/1930s. The scoring for the koftgari on your blade is uneven and more widely spaced compared to higher class examples. The brass fittings on these swords can be well done, although remnants of abrasive polish, such as Brasso® applied by previous owners, are all too common and hard to remove.