This magnificent pair of Burmese swords or dha are long and also are matched. One is shorter than the other but the two clearly were made at the same time, by the same maker and were intended as a pair.
Both have long, slightly-curved, single-edged steel blades that end in a point. Each has a wooden scabbard that is partly encased in silver. The silver used on these dhas is very close to being pure. The silver is arrayed such that panels of wood are revealed, bordered by silver filigree work. The contrast between the warm colour of the wood and the silver casings is particularly pleasing.
The handles of hilts are similarly encased in silver. The grips are covered in silver wire woven in a ‘chicken-wire’ design. The finials are prominent and designed as lotus buds.
The dhas are either the product of the Shan people of eastern Burma, or show significant Shan influence.
The blades fit snugly into their scabbards.
This pair of dhas is among the best of their type that we have seen.
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.