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Short sword
Place of Origin: Myanmar (Burma) or Northern Thailand
Date: approx. 1875-1925
Materials: Steel with ivory and silver
Dimensions: L. 31 1/4 in x W. 1 3/4 in x D. 1 1/4 in, L. 79.4 cm x W. 4.4 cm x D. 3.2 cm
Credit Line: Gift from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Southeast Asian Art Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Arms And Armament
Object Number: 2006.27.112.a-.b
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Short swords of this type with decorations in luxurious materials and techniques were in demand, presumably more for display than combat, both in the Shan area and in central Burma. It is likely, too, that by the 1890s such swords were being produced for the tourist market.

The ivory carving on this example is of exceptional intricacy. On the scabbard a pierced, lacelike upper layer of vines and foliage covers an underlayer of large human figures in relief. On the handle are two figures amid scrolling vines; one, with a demonic face (or mask), bends his head completely backwards so that it appears upside down on his upper back.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010
Label:

Short swords of this type with decorations in luxurious materials and techniques were in demand, presumably more for display than combat, both in the Shan area and in central Burma. It is likely, too, that by the 1890s such swords were being produced for the tourist market.

The ivory carving on this example is of exceptional intricacy. On the scabbard a pierced, lacelike upper layer of vines and foliage covers an underlayer of large human figures in relief. On the handle are two figures amid scrolling vines; one, with a demonic face (or mask), bends his head completely backwards so that it appears upside down on his upper back.


Exhibition History: "Emerald Cities: Arts of Siam and Burma" Asian Art Museum, October 23, 2009 - January 10, 2010