Thai ‘Narai Hok’ Spear
Place of Origin: Thailand, Ayutthayan
Date: 18th Century
A fine example of a Thai spear known as a ‘Narai Hok’. The name probably originated from a man who was arguably the most famous Ayutthayan kings, Narai (Ramathibodi III) 1633 – 11 July 1688, he was the king from 1656 to 1688.
These type of spears are usually mounted on bamboo shafts which are naturally hollow, this example is hardwood, which provides superior strength, and is carved to imitate the natural beauty bamboo has to offer; a distinctive triangle carved at alternate notches. Another unusual feature is the inlay of mother of pearl at the top of the shaft.
The heavy iron socket has two cut and pierced bands, the central area has silver floral decoration in a lozenge formation, and the ends have chiselled arches in a style commonly found on Thai decoration. A striking square iron guard cut and pierced and decorated with silver damascene.
The heavy blade has a square base which flares out towards the tip, further silver decoration at the base.
An example of a ‘Narai Hok’ with hardwood shaft carved in a similar fashion is in the National Museum, Bangkok, and illustrated by *****, 1993.