There was one item of my grandfather's that I wanted when he passed away.
It was a sword that he had hanging on the wall in his basement, where he spent most of his time. I didn't know much about it, other than I'm pretty sure he brought it back from his time in Vietnam.
He showed it to me when I was very young, and told me that I could look but couldn't touch, because it was sharp and could be very dangerous.
So I looked from afar when I was there, and always hoped that one day I would get a chance to hold onto it.
When he passed I let my mom know that if nobody else wanted it, I would be very appreciative if I could take it home. Strangely enough, when my grandma asked me if I wanted it, she told me that he had given it to me a long time ago. I guess that he knew how much the item intrigued me, and knew that one day I would love to have it.
After I brought it home, I started looking for some information about it. It's fairly hard to find information about swords from Asia, because there were so many different kinds and even ones that shared similar traits could be completely different in name and design.
It turns out that the one that he had was a Thai Dha. It's a single edged blade used for digging and, well, killing. They typically have a wooden sheath, which this one does, and a long handle even though they are designed to be used with one hand.
This particular Dha has some maker's markings on it. I've been looking around online to see if there are any good message forums that might be able to help me learn a bit more about the sword from the markings on it. I'd be really interested to know it's age and exactly where it came from. It's in good shape, but it does look fairly old. Older than from the Vietnam war era, at least.
Today I went to the mall here in town where there is a "Japanese" store. They sell a bunch of swords there, so I figured they might have some stands. Sure enough, they had a really basic stand that I picked up for the Dha. It's just really plain, which is what I wanted, because the stand doesn't take anything away from the beauty of the sword.
Here is a picture of the Dha in it's sheath, taken with my iPod which is why the quality isn't that great.
And here is one of the sword taken out of it's sheath. The pictures are hard to tell, but the sword is about 36" long in all.
It's a nice looking sword, and on it's stand it looks perfect on the mantle above the fireplace. For now, that is where it will stay. I may end up eventually putting it on top of one of the shelving units in the basement, but for now I like it on the mantle.