Sri Lankan Kastane (Sword), ca. 1800
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: ()
GUEST: I really don't know anything about this sword, and that's why I came here today. To hopefully find something out about it.
APPRAISER: You said it was in your grandmother's house.
GUEST: Yeah. I know she did, um, flea markets.
APPRAISER: And where was she from?
GUEST: She was actually from Massachusetts. She could've picked it up from some antique dealer up there.
APPRAISER: Yeah. Well, it's actually a pretty incredible thing. It's a weapon called a “kastane.” And it's from the kingdom of Kandy, which is in Sri Lanka,
APPRAISER: an island off the coast of India. And it's in the central part of the island. And one of the things these people are known for is just incredible metalwork, as you can see with this piece.
APPRAISER: There's a brass body here that's been inlaid with silver-- also set with gold. And even in the eyes of the animal here on the end, they're rubies that are on there.
APPRAISER: The hilt is rhinoceros horn.
GUEST: You're kidding me.
APPRAISER: Carved rhinoceros horn. Although there's no problem with selling this sword or owning this sword because this material was collected almost 200 years ago.
APPRAISER: This sword was probably made between the middle of the 18th century and the very, very beginning of the 19th century.
APPRAISER: The kingdom of Kandy was conquered by the English in the middle part of the 19th century. And when they did, this metalwork declined, so that by 1900, quality pieces like this were almost extinct.
APPRAISER: The quality of this is just absolutely superb. When you turn the blade this way--
APPRAISER: --and you can see the floral scrolling that's underneath here on it.
APPRAISER: Just incredible quality work. And all that gold work is also pure gold. Very, very, very high-carat gold in here; beautiful filigree work around the eyes. The way it's carved along the underside of the hilt, it's an amazing thing. And the people who used to wear this had an absolutely even more fantastic costume. The guy used to wear a little tiny vest and then thin sleeves and then pantaloons that like basically stuck out straight at his sides. And stockings and shoes like they show like the elf shoes with the pointed ends.
GUEST: No kidding?
APPRAISER: And then a turban that was like a sun hat. And then thrust through the sash was this sword. It's actually undervalued. A conservative auction estimate on this would be $6,000 to $8,000.
APPRAISER: You know, it's a...
GUEST: Wow. Fantastic.
APPRAISER: And something that, when your children grow a bit older--
APPRAISER: --it'll probably be a considerable amount more.
GUEST: Okay, fantastic.
APPRAISER: Fantastic. The most amazing thing is the rhinoceros.
GUEST: I thought that was plastic.
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