Thank you for the very valuable and scholarly insight Jim, I am now getting a more well-formed opinion with regards to the probable origin of this sword. It has been really an edifying experience for me as a novice collector of ethnographic arms getting all these comments from the contributors to this thread.
Kubur there is no need to despair, as I have said I am no longer inclined to remove the velvet wrap citing the reasons I mentioned earlier. However I can confirm that it was done to address extensive damage to the hilt. Here is a sneak peek under the velvet cover. From that point I could feel a 2 inch long indentation under the cover going towards the cross guard which would mean a corresponding loss of wood section.
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