Origin: South East Asia
Date: 19th century
Materials: Ivory and steel
A 19th century dha hmyaung dagger with an ivory handle, of Southeast origins.
This type of Dagger is usually associated with the Shan people or Burma. The dha hmyaung is the small version of the dha sword. These types of daggers were worn by the Shan people of Burma on a daily basis and they slowly became an iconic weapon of Burma and its military.
One of the most iconic features of this type of dagger is the accompanying sheath. The scabbard is made of wood with a sheet of metal hammered on top, which is then decorated with geometric motifs in repousse with typical Burmese floral motifs. The mounts and scabbard design take influence from both surrounding Vietnamese and Chinese culture and their work. The dagger fits this sheath perfectly and is secure within it. The dagger has an elephant ivory handle that shows some patina, which suggests significant age; most likely the early 19th century. The hilt is smooth, giving a polished feel, and has some natural age forming 'cracks', which is a sign of good age on ivory. The blade is made of steel and attached to the ivory handle very firmly with no movement or loose parts. The blade is slightly curved and has a sharp point and edge. The red tassels add a very regal look to the all original sheath; originally used to attach the dagger to the wearer's waist or ceremonial/display purposes.
Overall, this is a good quality dha hmyaung, which are now becoming difficult to obtain at this quality. The dagger is in fine condition with its original scabbard and red tassels, making this a sought after variation of the dha hmyaung. A great addition for collectors of South Asian Arms.