From the Batak people in northern Sumatra, and called a 'paru paru', this handsome tool held small round bullets, or shot, and is made of a real horn. It has become anthropomorphic with a face carved on one side. The face has a crown and could depict an idealized ruler. Finely incised designs grace the rest of the horn, as well as the wooden top. A custom made iron stand is included.
Size: 7.8 in. x 2.3 in. x 1.9 in.
From the Batak people in northern Sumatra, this beautiful old container held gunpowder, and is called a 'parpanggalahan'. Made of wood, it has finely incised foliate designs on the surface, plus a face on the cap. It includes a custom made iron stand.
Size: 3.6 in. x 6.6 in. x 1.3 in.
Known as dha, swords of this type were used for ceremonial events, such as spirit, or nat, festivals in the Shan States of Burma. The scabbard and handle are carved wood with a silver-plated brass sheet covering and a white lacquer wash (some of the plating has been worn off). The blade has silver koftgari images and Burmese script. The workmanship is somewhat crude for this style of sword and may indicate a rural origin. The condition overall is good.
Size: Blade: 25.5″; Handle: 13″; OA: 43.25″
Beautifully detailed carving and whimsical design make this gunpowder horn a special piece. From the Chinese Hmong, also known as Miao, in southern China, it takes the form of a rooster, with the body made of horn and the attached head of wood- the joint is imperceptible. The entire surface is carved with delicate, detailed patterns, and the rooster’s head includes a crest, eyes, wattle and feathers. A cleverly designed ergonomic handle opens the beak to release a small amount of powder, possibly to prime the charge. Condition is very good, with patination visible. We rarely see fine, old pieces like this available.
Size: (1.9 in. x 1.2 in.) @ base x 7.4 in. overall
From the Chinese Hmong (Miao) people, this old powder horn has beautiful carving on one side. Made of real horn, it has been filled with wood at the large end. This one is like one included in the collection of the Bowers Museum in California, USA. A custom made iron stand is included. We no longer see these fine old pieces available.
Size: (2.1 in. x 3.2 in.) @ base x 9.1 in. overall
This charming figure belies the power imbued to keris– his large grin imparts a friendly, benign quality. The intricate carving with floral motifs further softens the character. Monkey-like in visage (Hanuman?), he has arms and one leg showing, plus long locks of hair down his back. The rest of the surface is covered in fine carving, some of which is three-dimensional. This is a fine example of an older keris handle. It is from Sumatra or Java.
Size: 3.8 in. high
Small pocket-sized knives of this type, called mit maw, are carried on the person as protective talismans. When blessed by powerful monks they are considered to imbue the owner with invulnerability, and are highly prized by Thais. The scabbard is bone with very fine silver decorations and pocket clip (note that the silver is a lower grade than sterling). The diminutive blade is nicely ornamented with typical designs. This is a particularly small example of these special little knives and could be worn on a chain as jewelry (note attached rings). This would make a lovely gift for a special someone.
Size: 2.4 in. overall sheathed
A spectacular example of a tribal knife, this piece is from remote northern Kachin State in Burma, and is used by both the Rawang and Maru ethnic groups. The scabbard is wood, with a beautifully woven strap made from fine vine. (These weavings require great skill and are only done by a few men). The knife is of an unusual, tho traditional, design with a concave cutout at the tip. The handle is lacquered rattan with a quatrefoil design on the end and a brass ferrule at the knife end. (Please see Diran, Richard K.; The Vanishing Tribes of Burma;1997; p.22)
Size: 32.5″ x 3.5″
Known as ‘dha’, this is a good example of the utilitarian swords used in northern Thailand. This one has a bamboo handle with plaited vine bands, some of which are more recent additions; the old ones are finer and smoothed down with use. The end of the handle has an old Siamese (pre-Thailand/pre-1938) One Satang coin held in place with a screw. The scabbard is more recent and comprises two pieces of wood held together with braided rattan bands. A red cotton cord allows for carrying. The blade has a rounded tip and is sharp. Overall the condition is very good as this was used until quite recently.
Size: OA: 28″; Handle: 8.5″; Blade: 16.5″
Probably from the Nung people in northeast Vietnam, this finely carved block is attached to a belt and worn at the waist to hold a knife away from the body. Utility knives are routinely carried by most men in the hills. The carving on this one is exceptional and is colored with red and dark green lacquer. Note the writing in the detail photo- it is probably a name. Condition is very good. 20th century.
Size: 5.25 in. x 2.18 in. x 1 in.
Probably from the Nung people in northeast Vietnam, this finely carved block is attached to a belt and worn at the waist to hold a knife away from the body. Utility knives are routinely carried by most men in the hills. The carving on this one is very good and was originally colored with red and dark green lacquer, but has worn off and is now nicely mellowed, showing the patina of age and use. This is a fine example of the folk arts of this region. Condition is good. 20th century.
Size: 5.25 in. x 2.18 in. x 1 in.