Inventory no.: 651

651. Silver-Inlaid Dha (Burmese Sword)


Silver Inlaid & Ivory Handled Dha


19th century

length: 84cm

This beautiful Burmese sword or dha has a narrow, slightly curved blade that tapers to a point. The blade is finely inlaid to both sides with high-grade silver with repeated chinthei (Burmese lion) motifs separated by branches of scrolling foliage. There is a flat section to part of the way of the top of the blade and this too is inlaid with silver in a scrolling floral pattern.

Silver inlay of this type suggests that the blade is the product of Shan craftsmen. A group of artisans near Pyabwe specialised in this type of work. The steel blade was incised with a sharp chisel. Silver wire was then hammered into the design.

The handle of the

dha is in ivory and has a honeyed patina. It is finely carved seven mythical Burmese figures amid open-work foliage. It is secured to the blade with a band of silver.


A related dha is illustrated in Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989, p. 35.

Inventory no.: 651