VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Ceremonial sword
71.1932.15.14
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This sword is a masterpiece because of the quality of workmanship and materials as well as its outstanding documentation.

History of the Object
This sword was bought by Jean-Marc Bel on May 24, 1897 from the Attapeu Lao chief who wrote this note: "I undersigned Cham Tha Kromokan Fondeng, received from Engineer Bel 116 piastres for a sword I received from my grandmother, Kham Wanglam." The Museum Friendship Society bought this sword from the widow of J.M. Bel, Mrs. Amelie Bel, for the Musée de l'Homme. The largest part of the Asian collections of the musée du quai Branly comes from the Musée de l'Homme. Since 1997, new acquisitions were made by the musée du quai Branly.

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Type
Weaponry 
Materials
Gold, silver, metal 
Measurements
Length 97,4 cm.  
Creator name
Lao 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Laos; Attapeu 
Geography
Laos 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century - 19th Century; 1790-1830 
Function
Decorated knives and swords, handed down from elder to elder indicate the rank of their owner in Tai-speaking families. Many have ivory handles. The finest are covered with silver or even gold - Tai goldsmiths being held in high esteem. Worn on ceremonial occasions, they also represent the symbolic "presence" of the noble family at the altar during a variety of rites. 
Acquisition
Gift of The Trocadero Ethnographic Museum Friends Society (1932) 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Musée du quai Branly 
Museum
Musée du quai Branly 
Credit line
 

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