Silver-Inlaid Short Dagger (Dha-hmyaung)
length: 33.3cm, weight: 199g
This fine dagger or dha-hmyaung has an ebony wood hilt, a silver hilt collar and a straight, single-edged blade inlaid with scrolling silverwork. There is no scabbard.
The dagger is heavy in the hand.
Fraser-Lu (1994, p. 148) says that such silver-inlaid blades were made in Min-dan village in Yamethin district. The blades were first forged from rod iron acquired from nearby Pyaw-bwe. The area to be decorated was scored using a chisel with cross-hatching (this is visible on the blade here). Strands or iron were then carefully placed in position on the blade using tweezers, and were then hammered onto the iron, the cross-hatching allowing the silver to adhere to the iron. The blade was then gently re-heated and then lightly re-hammered so that the silver would bond further with the iron.
The dagger is in fine condition; there is no loss to the silver inlay.
Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1850