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Fine 18th C. Ceylonese Sri Lankan Pia Kaetta Dagger

( ID: id718 )

This antique weapon is an exemplary model of an 18th century Sri Lankan pia kaetta dagger.  Mounted with finely aged grips, the piece is inlaid with silver and brass.  The entire weapon ex-tends 13 inches in length, while the blade is 8 inches.  Comparable ancient weapons of this origin are held in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Metropolitan Mu-seum of Art in New York.

Ceylon, or as its known in contemporary times as the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka, was a colo-nial territory of several European powers beginning with the Portuguese in the 16th century.  Over time, the French, Dutch and British all laid claim to the South Asian nation.  The Dutch dominated much of the locale during the 18th century, while British Ceylon was a colony of the Royal Crwon from 1815 to 1948.  At first the area it covered did not include the Kingdom of Kandy, which was a protectorate from 1815, but from 1817 to 1948 the British possessions in-cluded the whole island of Ceylon.

Mills, Lennox A. (1933). Ceylon Under British Rule, 1795–1932. Oxford U.P.

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