Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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Robert 21st January 2014 06:13 PM

New Gunong
8 Attachment(s)
Here is my latest ebay find, a very nice little gunong. I am very happy to say that the fittings are made of coin silver and to my great joy and surprise all of the twisted wire bands on the scabbard and hilt are of low grade gold. Maybe that is the reason be seller thought that all the fittings were made of brass. While the silver itself was tarnished the gold wire (after just wiping with a damp cloth) was still quite bright and shiny. Here are a few photos, before (auction photos) and after a little cleaning. I don't know why the color of the gold wire is washed out so bad (possibly because I had to use a flash when taking the photos) but it can be seen best in the first two photos taken after cleaning. I would date this to the second quarter of the 20th century (1930's) and being of Maranao origin. Etching the blade will be my next step as I believe it to be laminated. Any comments or added information would be greatly appreciated.


Ferguson 21st January 2014 06:16 PM

Robert, that's just stunning. Congratulations! Can't wait to see the etch.


Robert 22nd January 2014 05:31 AM

Hello Steve, and thank you very much for your kind words. I was hoping to have the etch done before posting this on the forum but as usual too many things ahead of it have postponed my getting it done. I hope to be able to post photos of the etched blade in the next week or so. :o I am just happy to have finally found a silver fitted example of these wonderful knives/daggers. Now if I can just find a 19th century example of one of these. :D


Sajen 22nd January 2014 09:38 AM

Hello Robert,

very nice gunong. The gold could be suassa IMHO.



Robert 22nd January 2014 03:07 PM

Hello Detlef, Glad you like it. Yes the wire is probibly suassa. It tests out at about 9 to 10K.


Battara 22nd January 2014 06:11 PM

Yup......then that's swassa........

I would LOVE to have a swassa example...... :D

Battara 22nd January 2014 06:12 PM

And just a note: I don't think 19th century examples are as nice - generally much plainer.

Robert 22nd January 2014 07:35 PM

Hello Jose, I agree that most 19th century gunongs are usually plainer in overall appearance. I have seen older examples that have the straighter non-bulbous style hilts that were made from ivory, buffalo horn and some of very beautiful wood. The hilts and sheaths on some had silver fittings and even though they were not as highly decorated as ones like this example to me they are just as nice only in a different way.


Sajen 22nd January 2014 07:41 PM

Originally Posted by Battara
And just a note: I don't think 19th century examples are as nice - generally much plainer.

Yes, here I agree with Jose, the nice and blinky examples are from the 20th century.

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