3587

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Fine Malay Sewar Dagger with Hippopotamus Ivory & Engraved Silver Mounts

Sumatra/Malay Peninsula
19th century

length: 32cm, weight: 211g

Available - Enquire

Provenance

UK art market

This elegant, fine sewar dagger has a slightly curved, long, thin damascened blade; and a long, thin wooded hilt decorated with two plain silver bands and one broad band engraved with Islamic-Malay inspired leafy scrollwork.

The hand guard, slightly bifurcate hilt and chape have all been carved from hippopotamus ivory. The hilt ring is of silver and is engraved in the same way as the broad ring in the middle of the scabbard. Sewars were intended as stabbing weapons.

This example is in fine condition. It has a superb patina, particularly the ivory hilt and hand-guard which have a rich, honeyed colour. The ivory has some minor but stable cracking as well as the seams that is typical of hippopotamus ivory.

References

Gardner, G.B., Keris and other Malay Weapons, Orchid Press, 2009 (reprint of 1936 original).

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