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Masdhayi Fiyohi
An exceptional example
High end status knife
19th century Maldives

Masdhayi Fiyohi An exceptional example High end status knife 19th century Maldives www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


Ex Personal Collection.

A very fine and very rare knife from the Maldives, 19th century, Masdhayi Fiyohi.

The Masdhayi Fiyohi is the traditional knife of the Maldives. Traditionally these knives were made as this example was, with high quality materials and precious metals, dating as far back as the 17th century. Later in to the early 20th century both materials and quality diminished until the craft no longer survived beyond 1968.

Knives of this type we have presented here were only worn by noblemen and soldiers.

This example measures 29.5cms long in its sheath, 27.5cms out and has a blade length of 15cms.

The hilt is constructed from a single carved whale tooth that has been sectioned to retain the tang of the blade. The tang has been secured with 4 exposed silver rivets and likely 4 hidden rivets, hidden beneath nine silver straps to the rear and a single broad silver strap to the fore grip.
The tang is largely exposed with decorative copper and silver liners skillfully inlaid to the top of the tang.
The remainder of the knifes thick spine is expertly inlaid with silver throughout.
The knife is quite heavy for its size and is extremely robust. In profile, the blade shows a deep cut fuller running through to the start of the dropped clipped tip. Its belly protrudes and gradually narrows back towards the fore grip.

The sheath is the original ebony type with silver at both ends. The silver tip is a faithful replacement.

In our opinion, excluding the sheaths of which some carried enameled silver, those held in the National Museum in the Maldives are not as fine a quality nor display as much detail to the blade as this example does, and this museum quality example is in far better condition to the majority of the collection held within the museum.

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