Place of Origin: Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Date: 17th -18th Century
Overall Length: 410mm (16 Inches)
This Kandyan knife (or piha-kaetta) shows an exceptional attention to detail in its carving. The solid ivory grip is also a rare feature – such knives are normally secured at the tang by grip scales of ivory or horn. The hilt is carefully carved throughout to depict a flourishing array of cascading scrolls – a motif known as liya-pata – and is secured at its base with a silver tang finial. The grip slopes gently into a faceted silver collar, the bolster formed of further scrolling motifs and a scaled yali enclosed within a bead-bordered section at the base of the blade. Two thin fullers stretch across the greater part of the blade’s length along the back-edge before the blade curves very slightly upwards at the point.
A fluted wooden scabbard with an alluring dark-reddish colour accompanies the dagger and is encased with a locket of sheet silver. In place of a chape, the tip has been carved en suite with the liya-pata patterning applied to the hilt.