18th Century Lan Na Kingdom Dhaab Ngao Sword. Thailand War Elephant Fighting Sword

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This impressive late 18th Century Dhaab Ngao sword hails from the Lan Na Kingdom. Chiang Mai in modern-day Northern Thailand was the capitol of the Lan Na kingdom until 1776 when the kingdom was overpowered and incorporated into the Kingdom of Siam. Swords such as these were used from the back of war elephants. They did not have scabbards and were attached to the howdah ready to be swung at a similarly mounted adversary. The spine of the sword is deeply notched to catch and trap an opponent’s blade.

The 744mm single-edged blade has a thick spine incorporating three deep forward pointing notches and terminates in a wickedly sharp point. The spine measures 6mm thick and tapers to 2.6mm at the point. The curved blade is 38mm wide at the shoulder increasing to 82mm at its widest. The heavy forged blade retains a sharp fighting edge.

The 380mm hilt is made of hardwood covered with bronze alloy with repousse decoration of traditional floral and Garuda (bird/man deity) motifs. The hilt tapers slightly to a traditional bulbous pommel. The blade is firm in the hilt.

The sword weighs 1.58kg and has a total length of 1,124mm. Similar swords are to be found in the Chiang Mai National Museum.

This is an excellent and rare example of an elephant back fighting sword from the late 18th Century Lan Na Kingdom. A second, almost identical sword is also offered for sale on this site. The matching nature of the two swords suggests that as well as being formidable battle ready weapons, they may have also fulfilled a peacetime ceremonial role.


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