Unusual Thai Gilt-Silver 'dha' dagger with Staghorn pommel

An unusual Thai large knife of good quality. The hilt-grip of silver beautifully decorated with intricate scrolling designs, the silver was originally gilt, traces of the yellow precious metal coating can be seen in the recesses of the repousse. The pommel is fitted with a section of natural spiked staghorn or deer antler, a most unusual feature which is clearly original to the piece as the contours of the silver-gilt sleeve follow the shape of the antler at its juncture.The blade is of good stout sharp single-edged steel with some old sharpening and polishing marks, the original wooden sheath is also present but has been recovered in modern black leather and with the addition of a belt hanging loop. This large knife possible belonged to a priest, and dates to the 19th or late 18th century.southern asia