Item: cs1211

Fine 19th C. Tibetan Dpa Dam Back sword with interesting lamellar blade



    This is a fine example of a 19th C. Tibetan dpa'dam backsword. The blade is straight single edged and has an oblique tip. It is distinguished from other dpa'dams that we've encountered through the slightly raised medial ridge which almost makes the obverse side of the blade double-edged. Quite an uncommon blade feature and likely done by the blade smith to distinguish his work from more common blades.

    The blade displays the lamellar pattern found on Tibetan blade and called hairpin pattern damascus. The hairpin method enabled Tibetan smiths working in high altitude environments to use forging methods requiring less heat but nonetheless creating a blade with hard and soft layers that enabled a hard edge but cut-absorbing internal softer layers.

    The scabbard and grip fittings are made of iron and interestingly inlaid in the yellow silver or white brass common to Tibet and traded from China, in a geometric pattern of lines. The inner scabbard is timber covered in pebbled wild donkey skin.

    A fine sword in original untouched condition. Overall length is 38, blade is 31.