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Lot 49A: Khmer Empire Bronze / Iron Sword
27 October 2016
Louisville, CO, USALive Auction
Cambodia, Khmer Empire, ca. 1000 CE. This is a short form of Khmer sword, known as a p'keak or phkak, which is a curved handled weapon with an iron blade. They may have been used for clearing the dense forests of northern Cambodia as well as for fighting. This particular sword has a beautiful bronze handle with diamond-shaped guard. From the Angkor period onward (after 800 CE), it seems likely that southeast Asia underwent a great deal of conflict; inscriptions, reliefs, weapons deposited as grave goods, and, most recently, bioarchaeology all attest to a history of fighting and war. This sword is almost certainly related to that history. For example, excavations at the cemetery at Phum Snay have uncovered a wide range of weapons in many graves; while most were male, some belonged to females. The small handle of this piece suggests a diminutive hand. Size: 21.6" L x 2.45" W (54.9 cm x 6.2 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Estate of John Piscopo. Mr. Piscopo was one of the largest collectors of ancient weapons in the US with a collection that spanned all cultures, all ages.
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Condition Report: Blade is in a corroded/rusted state, but its shape is clear. The handle has patina, but is in very nice condition. A bronze handle with iron blade still attached is quite a find!