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Old 24th May 2023, 12:34 AM   #1
Maj-Biffy Snodgrass
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Default any ideas ?????

Length 71cm, blade 51 cm, spine thickness at forte 7mm, tip 3mm, it has a domed and slightly ridged spine, straight blade with single cutting edge, shows lamination and a hamon, and the hilt is hand and a half type shorter than usual daab of Thai style, with black lacquered hardwood with layered gold bronze lathe turned mounts, not gilded, baht ''dipped'' gold, like rolled gold.
It has a through tang that is peened at its end and domed.
The blade has a very well done forge weld in the slightly darker section in my pics, very pronounced and stands out slightly from the flat edge more one side than the other, obviously a well executed fix by an expert smith after being damaged, it has a single non machined blood let groove, and a few tiny edge niks at the tip.
The sword is also quite heavy, the blade is very HARD and sharp right to the point of tip.
Normally I would say Thailand 19thc around 1880s, and possibly used by the armed oarsmen on the klong - river royal barges who carry a very similar type sword back slung, could even be one ??, but it is not the usual blade shape for such swords at the tip which are usually cleaver tip down curve '' daab dang slong hua to'', often seen in use with a shield - dang.
I am wondering it if is not Cambodian 19thc, just have a feeling about it, looks very Khmer to me. Snody

Last edited by Maj-Biffy Snodgrass; 24th May 2023 at 05:47 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old 24th May 2023, 10:49 AM   #2
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Any photos?
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Old 24th May 2023, 01:05 PM   #3
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Default Sorry, thought they had loaded...

Here are pics, can send more later but will need to take some better ones. Snody
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Old 24th May 2023, 11:10 PM   #4
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Default pics..

Best I can do for now, busted camera, another on the way.. Snody
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Old 25th May 2023, 02:00 PM   #5
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It looks quite a bit like an Omani Katara to me with the size of the blade and shape of the hilt.

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Old 25th May 2023, 03:56 PM   #6
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Default no way Arabian !!

Hi 10th Royal, no offence meant but you are really barking up the wrong tree on this one , what you show here is an Omani sword Sayf or Saif, perhaps called by some a Katara but I am not even sure that Katara the correct name for them having always understood they are a Sayf or saif.
They are dancing swords used by Omani Arab people, they have thin flexible or semi flexible double edged blades, there is a whole post dedicated to them here on the forum if you need help identifying yours.

This sword is single edged sword with no flex to the blade and round sectional hilt and mounts, the spine is also much thicker than you will not find on any any Omani Saif, and I have had a few old ones in the past.

The origin is quite clear here, south east Asia and likely Thailand as I suspect and the Khmer border regions of that country or 19thc Cambodia, the blade length is typical of the region for dha and daab, but what is not is the straight blade and the hand and a half hand hilt, that is a very unusual trait for dha or daab.
There is a type of royal sword from Thailand which is called a Phrha Kan which is the Thai name used for a double edged Thai royal sword, in Khmer - Cambodian it is called ''Preah Khan Reach'', and although the hilt on my sword is in typical round section with typical and obvious lotus form pommel it would not be a Phra Kan as it has a single edge.

I think this twinned pair are for the south east Asian interest guys who maybe able to help with it, having had many Thai swords and Few Cambodian Dav in my time I have never seen anything like this, and I might add neither have any of the Thai collectors I know.
It is a mystery, one that has taken me over a year or research and still I have found nothing like it, not in the west or in south east Asian historical records either.
more pics here, forgot to add when i first posted that the sword has a twin which has not been cleaned up yet, that one does not have a forge weld edge repair though.
I have included a pic of an old Cambodian sword with the same type hilt and double edged blade, which is much older at around 13th to 15thc, I wonder if the style did not continue and I have been lucky enough to find a fighting pair ??.
They came with 2 very unusual large knives from the same region, I may show them later when cleaned, but for now I am making 2 scabbards for these with lacquered wood as is traditional and would go with the hilt, more to keep em safe than anything else. Snody
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Last edited by Maj-Biffy Snodgrass; 25th May 2023 at 04:01 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old 25th May 2023, 04:18 PM   #7
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No offense taken! It does look like I was quite a bit off the mark. Always happy to learn something new .
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Old 25th May 2023, 04:42 PM   #8
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Default Thanks !

Here are the unusual and large paired antler hilt and silver ferule knives that came with the pair of swords, they are 48 cm long from tip of blade to tip of the hilt in a straight line and have 5 mm thick spines at the hilt, also very unusual for the south east Asian regions, one cleaned here the other not, I will when both are cleaned etch with lime juice to bring out the hamon's clearly.
These are for me a pistol grip type like a Badek - Badik, which are seen coming from southern Thailand and in the BKK armoury museum in many numbers, so maybe they had the same in southern Cambodia which is my suggestion, still no actual proof that they are though.
The silver ferrules though look pretty bog standard for dha and daab right across the region, even into Burma, so these to are a hard one to pinpoint, definitely unusual and all coming from the same estate in eastern Uk.
Any ideas would be interesting to hear.
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Last edited by Maj-Biffy Snodgrass; 25th May 2023 at 05:33 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 27th May 2023, 04:51 AM   #9
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Hi Snody:

I've looked at these several times trying to think where in mainland SE Asia they may have been made. It's as though they are from everywhere and nowhere.

I'm inclined to think they are composites with a heavy influence from a European. First, the blades look to me as though the tips have been reworked. The thin fullers run through the end of the blade, which suggests that the spear point was not the original form. The thin fuller running just beneath the spine reminds me of some northern Thai/Lao/Southern Yunan daab, and these might have come from our old friends the Achang from HuSa in southern Yunan. The hilts look standard Thai/Lao to me, and perhaps not very old.

The two long knives are interesting. The large stag hilts look too big to be from the small deer in mainland SE Asia. Hence I think another source such as Europe or the U.S. The fittings are standard Thai/Burmese/Shan ... The down curved hilts are reminiscent of some ivory-hilted Burmese examples. The reasonably heavy blade is also consistent with some Burmese examples, but other areas of the region also had similar heavy-bladed knives.

Although the knives and swords came from the same collection, they don't necessarily have to be from the same region. Pushed to identify the origins of these interesting pieces, I would say they each have mixed parentage with evidence of newer hilts added to older blades. Given that they came from a British collection, I would say a recent owner had modified them and replaced the hilts. Some of the reworking of these pieces was likely done in mainland SE Asia.
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Old 27th May 2023, 11:06 AM   #10
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Default original auction pics of my 2 pairs.

Obviously Ian you can see that these are not old and have been doctored up just by these original auction pics, which quite clearly show both pairs to have considerable age and the swords even have the original wall hanger wire on them to from when they were displayed, if you can not see age here then you must need better glasses, I think my point is proven, ''ANY IDEAS ON THESE'' if not insults would be gratefully received, oddball's like this that do not conform to regular pattern's or types - styles do often turn up and with good age to, which is why I am still interested in antique edged weapons after many year's in the game, oddball pieces prove that nothing was set in stone and especially from south east Asian regions where in most cases the swords and other weapons we see from the region are as unique as the people who used them, I have an open mind and it is for me and many others like me the oddball pieces and non bog standard pieces that show us the great variety to be had from the region that were collected in colonial times. Snody
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Old 27th May 2023, 12:18 PM   #11
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Just to throw another opinion in the mix... I see nothing with either the swords or the knives that seems 'off' for the region.

Antler is commonly used across Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam for knives. While perhaps not the most common hilt material it is certainly not unusual.

The swords are certainly unusual, but the tip profile, fullering and hilts all conform to other styles we know. I think the barge idea is probably spot on, although its difficult to pin down an exact attribution.
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Old 27th May 2023, 01:19 PM   #12
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Default Thanks Iain, duly noted.

Hi Iain, I know, it is perfectly usual for such horn to be used throughout the history of Siam and other countries throughout the region on knives large and small, China to, Sambar stag horn to as the type of deer were in south east Asia, and it is sambar stag on these hilts for sure.

Here are just a few pics to back up the idea of the royal barge weapons, back slung swords etc, I see no reason why these could not be pairs, or singles, steersman were known to carry paired swords on the royal barges, but there is little information about them in English or Thai available.
Or perhaps they are from another region further south where other klong barges were used with fighting men aboard to guard royals and high ranked officials etc.
Royal vanguard marines also carried swords and some in pairs, could be these are from one of the many barges filled with up front men who all carried swords and other weapons as royal guard and police waterborne marine vanguard clearing men, I will likely never know the whole storey behind them.
Siam was a place with many klongs - canals and waterways, still is today, many waterborne armies used them as was the same in Cambodia in the 19thc into the early 20th which is the date I would suggest for my pair of swords, and also the large knives, which actually do feel like back hand fighting blades in the hand, or badek -badik pistol grip types.
I could add so much more but for now this will do to show some similar types in use in earlier times in old early 20thc pics, and some from today.
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Last edited by Ian; 27th May 2023 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Abusive and argumentative comments removed
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Old 27th May 2023, 03:03 PM   #13
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Default sword blade tips !! as originally made.

From the original auction pics, just to make sure that no one thinks these swords are as suggested altered in any way, HERE IS A CLOSE UP OF THE BLADE TIP !.
They are both as purchased and original. Snody.
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Old 27th May 2023, 06:04 PM   #14
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Biffy,

Sorry to upset you. The later pictures certainly show the swords to be older weapons and not reworked. As far as stag horn on knives, it has been my experience that this is uncommon on mainland SE Asian knives, especially the size of stag on these two. Perhaps you have other examples to show that you could post to a new thread.

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