Object Title

Sword (kastane)

Sword (kastane)



Object Number



Purchased from Christie's 16 July 2003, lot 12

Physical Description

The entire hilt and scabbard are of brown horn. The hilt and grip are carved from one piece with the usual dragon head forming the pommel. The dragon is depicted with an open mouth and has had the backward facing crest broken, the break having been recarved to make it less obvious. The grip is octagonal, alternate panels being carved with flowers and running foliage. The cros and knucklebow is carved from a separate piece, each quillon and the end of the knucklebow terminating in a dragon's head. On the face of the knucklebow is a female figure whilst a stylised Kali is carved on the triangular langet. The scabbard is in two halves and has scrolling foliage down both faces, the edges being carved in a scale pattern. The chape is again a separate piece, carved and pierced with scrolling foliage. The blade is curved, single edged and cut with a fuller down each side. On either side is punched the date 1758.


Dimensions: The length of the blade is 495 mm, the overall length of the sword being 667 mm, the length of the scabbard being 595 mm. Weight: The weight of the sword is 0.428 kg, the weight of the scabbard being 0.184 kg.

Inscriptions and Marks

Dated 1758. In addition, there are below the dates on either side, traces of a mark that looks like a V and an A with the base and tip overlapping. This might be the mark of Johan Peter Dings who is recorded as working in Solingen in the 1750's.


Places Sri Lanka


The shape of this blade suggests that it has not been altered materially and that it was at best a short hanger. Above the date there has been a large stamped mark that is now too defeced to be certain of its nature. The fuller seems to have been cut through this mark.