5406

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Three Burmese Silver & Ivory Mounts Betel Knives

Shan People, Eastern Burma
19th and early 20th centuries

lengths: 11.8cm, 17.2cm and 23.3cm

Available - Enquire

Provenance

UK art market

Each of these short knives (dha hmyaung) is from the Shan people of eastern Burma was likely used to slice betel nuts fir use in the betel quid, a mild social narcotic that was chewed.

Each has an ivory or bone hilt. The scabbards of the two larger examples are of wood that is encased in hammered silver and decorated with bands of applied filigree wire.

The scabbard of the smallest example is of bone with bands of decorated silver.

Each has a single edged steel blade. The blade of the smallest is incised with stylised Buddhistic motifs.

These short knives are in excellent condition and with superb patina.

References

Fraser-Lu, S., Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.
Lewis, P. & E., Peoples of the Golden Triangle: Six Tribes in Thailand, Thames & Hudson, 1984.
Lowry, J., Burmese Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1974.

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