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Old 1st February 2019, 01:48 PM   #1
rumpel9
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Default Korean or Khmer sword.

Hello, everyone.
Not so long ago, I bought an Asian sword. Total length is 85 cm, blade is 56 cm. The blade seems for me older than the handle. At first I thught that this is Korean sword. But later I began to doubt. I think that this is the later Khmer sword. It would be very interesting to know your opinion about this sword.
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Old 1st February 2019, 06:32 PM   #2
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IMHO, this is a typical SE Asian Dha ( OK, purists: Daab:-)

There are limited data on Korean swords of Joseon dynasty, but certain simple points do apply.
Korean Geom was an awfully spartan and down-to-earth relative of its Japanese counterpart,- Katana. Both had blades attached to the handles with a "rivet", only in Japanese version it was removable ( mekugi), whereas in Korea it was dead-set. Here there is no " rivet" at all: likely use of a mastique as the blade holder. Korean swords had very little or no embellishments to the point of often having bare wood handles. This one has profuse silver foil with typical SE Asian motives.
Blade geometry is not Japanese or Korean ( wide fuller reminds me of a reworked European????)
Finally, rattan wrapping is neither Japanese nor Korean feature: SE Asia at her purest, from Assam to Philippines.
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Old 1st February 2019, 07:14 PM   #3
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Ariel, Dha with blant end usually found among the kachin people. But their swords are very simple, they do not decorate them. And Kachin swords have no guards. And here there is a large guard about 9 cm in diameter.
In addition to this, the motifs of the metal part of the handle have never met me on any dha. The motifs of this decor seem to me Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian.
The shape of this sword is most similar to Montagnard which is found in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam (see on pic.)
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Old 1st February 2019, 08:32 PM   #4
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This is definitely not Korea. The island part of Southeast Asia can also be excluded.
You are right about the old blade. In Indochina, this archaic form is sometimes found in Thailand. But the metal parts of the hilt are not typical for Thai masters. In my opinion, the high-quality work on silver and the complex composition of the plot point to the works of Vietnamese masters from Hue or Hanoi. Perhaps these silver pieces used to be part of another object, and later became parts of a sword hilt.
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Old 1st February 2019, 10:48 PM   #5
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Agree with both of you: SE Asia, and that was exactly what I said. So all three of us are on the same page. The “islands” were mentioned simply due to the use of rattan, but obviously they are out of the equation.

Regretfully, so is Korea: those are rarer than hens teeth.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 01:42 PM   #6
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After spending about one year in Korea and visiting most of their museums, I can say with a sufficient level of certainty this is NOT a Korean sword, but a SE Asian Dha. Where exactly is it from, I don't know.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 01:53 PM   #7
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Given all this, I believe that this sword belongs to southern Indo-China - Laos / Vietnam / Cambodia. But I was confused by the end of the blade. I saw the swords of this region, mostly Vietnamese, but I never met the end of the blade without an edge.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 05:31 PM   #8
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Some daab of the Indo-China peninsula do have guards on them, perhaps due to early Japanese contacts.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumpel9
But I was confused by the end of the blade.

Swords from Thailand
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Old 2nd February 2019, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Some daab of the Indo-China peninsula do have guards on them, perhaps due to early Japanese contacts.

Guards on swords of the Indo-China peninsula have been since the Bronze Age.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 08:46 PM   #11
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I have always understood that Dha with the ring guard come from Cambodia or Laos and are usually described as "Khmer". Check here for a comprehensive cover of Dha types. Click on "Sword Index" and on individual pics. Most have a description http://dharesearch.bowditch.us/
Also attached pics of 3 "guarded" Dha I once owned. They were described as Khmer.
Stu
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Last edited by kahnjar1 : 2nd February 2019 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 08:54 PM   #12
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Hello Rumpel9,

like the others I am convinced that it's not Korean also when I don't know something about Korean swords but I think to know what you have there, it's a sword from the Dai poeple (so they get called in Yuan) or Tai Lue (so they get called in Laos), think that your sword is from the Lao side, 19th century. Interesting sword for sure but need a lot of work, the blade is in a bad condition. Nice Daab!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 2nd February 2019, 08:59 PM   #13
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See here for rounded tip and guard by dha/daab/dao: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...&highlight=daab
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Old 3rd February 2019, 03:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ren Ren
Guards on swords of the Indo-China peninsula have been since the Bronze Age.

I stand corrected, Ren Ren, thank you.
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Old 3rd February 2019, 09:25 AM   #15
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According to a Thai swordsman friend of mine, the first DHA with guard and silver on there is Laos daab sword 19thc not cambodian, Loas bordering Yunnan dai or Tai lue, it's more laos looking to me though and the blade shape is Loas for sure.
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Old 4th February 2019, 12:39 PM   #16
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I must agree with Wayne on the identification of the original subject of this thread. This is a Lao daab, very likely 19th C, with typical Lao repoussed silver work. It likely comes from the "Golden Triangle" area of northern Thailand, Laos, and Yunnan occupied by Tai, Dai, and ethnically related groups. I don't see anything to suggest Khmer influence.


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