Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Piso Gading (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=22234)

Roland_M 2nd January 2017 08:13 PM

Piso Gading
 
5 Attachment(s)
Dear Forummembers,

A happy new year and a Piso Gading from the Batak people in Sumatra.
The massive single edge blade is 55cm long (46cm blade only).
The fluted handle is cut from a massive piece of ivory.
The scabbard is silver decorated and has a nice and interesting brass chain. The piece of leather was added by me.

I received the blade in a badly corroded condition, it took weeks of hard work to bring it back to life.
It was very helpful that the blade was in untouched condition, so me was able to keep the original shape of the blade.


The steel is very worth a more detailed view. It is made from laminated steel with inserted cutting edge (San Mai construction), without a specific forging pattern.

The blade was differential hardened with a beautiful Hamon on both sides. On one side the Hamon (Temperline) is straight, while on the Hamon on other side follows almost exactly the inserted cutting edge.
A very beautiful and artistic solution.
The most exiting thing on this blade is that it has clear Nie-Crystals.
Nie-Crystals are a result of differential hardening and in Japan a sign of quality. The more crystals the better.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and everybody is welcome to comment this extraordinary beautiful sword.


Best wishes,
Roland

Roland_M 2nd January 2017 08:14 PM

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Detailed pictures of the blade from my scanner.

CharlesS 2nd January 2017 10:23 PM

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Roland,

Yours is an absolutely gorgeous example of a piso gading in its "purest" form.

Below is another with a lovely but nontraditional scabbard, and uniquely tinted hilt. It has a pattern welded blade.

Battara 2nd January 2017 11:25 PM

What a great piece and great work!

Usually the mounts on these are white metal (nickel and copper) and not silver. Did you test the metal?

Great laminations on the blade.

Roland_M 3rd January 2017 10:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
What a great piece and great work!

Usually the mounts on these are white metal (nickel and copper) and not silver. Did you test the metal?

Great laminations on the blade.



Silver is a statement from the seller, he is a good friend of mine now. He tested it and it is a silver alloy with an unknown part of silver, probably not very much.

Battara 3rd January 2017 09:00 PM

This is great news. This might also mean that several Batak pieces with "white metal" might actually have real silver in them........... :)

VANDOO 4th January 2017 04:51 AM

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HERE IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE WITH SOLID BRASS HANDLE AND A WOOD SCABBARD MOSTLY COVERED IN BRASS. SUMATRA, BATAK PEOPLE 24.5 INCHES LONG TOTAL. I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED ONE OF THESE WITH THIS FORM OF HANDLE TRADITIONALLY IN IVORY BUT BRASS WILL BE LEGAL AND SAFER AS ALL THE BRASS MONKEYS ARE ALREADY EXTINCT. :p

RobertGuy 4th January 2017 08:08 AM

Very nice items indeed but I am really posting just to say

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
BUT BRASS WILL BE LEGAL AND SAFER AS ALL THE BRASS MONKEYS ARE ALREADY EXTINCT. :p

Vandoo you have cheered up my morning :D

Sajen 4th January 2017 10:34 AM

Hi Roland,

it's a great piece, since I've handled it already I can assure that it has museum quality! :) Thank you for sharing it here again.

Regards,
Detlef

Roland_M 4th January 2017 12:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
BUT BRASS WILL BE LEGAL AND SAFER AS ALL THE BRASS MONKEYS ARE ALREADY EXTINCT. :p



Lol but you forgot the Green Parties all over the world. If they hear " extinct Brass Monkey", they will gasping and try to forbid all antique brass to safe the Brass Monkeys backwards or so, with a maximum of hope and a minimum of understanding.

Roland_M 4th January 2017 12:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hi Roland,

it's a great piece, since I've handled it already I can assure that it has museum quality! :) Thank you for sharing it here again.

Regards,
Detlef


Hi Detlef,

my pleasure.
I'm still slightly confused about the massive hilt, it's simply too big even for large hands as mine.
But the very sharp blade got some nicks so it was definitely used. I wonder how to hold this blade in action, is there a special technique?

Roland

Sajen 4th January 2017 12:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland_M
I wonder how to hold this blade in action, is there a special technique?


Sorry, I really don't know. :shrug:

drac2k 4th January 2017 01:47 PM

VANDOO, I am ashamed to say, that in my youth, I killed some "Brass Monkey," and thus contributed to their extinction; even though it sometimes left me with a hang-over .

kai 4th January 2017 01:53 PM

Hello Roland,

Congrats, a neat piso gading from the Toba Batak - it really is a beauty. Thanks for putting in so much effort and posting the restoration results here!

While Batak blades rarely exhibit showy pamor of decent contrast, the laminations are often nicely visible and very interesting from a blacksmith's perspective!

The scabbard rings may well be silver. The mouth and foot pieces will have been done by the lost wax method - my best bet would be that the utilized alloy is closer to white brass rather than a low silver alloy though.


Quote:
I'm still slightly confused about the massive hilt, it's simply too big even for large hands as mine.
But the very sharp blade got some nicks so it was definitely used. I wonder how to hold this blade in action, is there a special technique?

These are status swords that most likely saw ceremonial use only. From the looks of it, the blade may well be older than the already old fittings; maybe a user blade which got promoted to ceremonial use at one point?

Regards,
Kai

Sajen 4th January 2017 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
These are status swords that most likely saw ceremonial use only. From the looks of it, the blade may well be older than the already old fittings; maybe a user blade which got promoted to ceremonial use at one point?


Hello Kai,

very good thought which will make sense!

Regards,
Detlef

Battara 4th January 2017 02:42 PM

So.......are there any brass monkeys in zoos anywhere? :D

Loedjoe 4th January 2017 02:43 PM

4 Attachment(s)
This cannot be a piso gading, as the hilt is silver/white metal, but perhaps this is an appropriate thread for it?

72 cm, blade 52 cm, hilt 8.5 cm. Light European? blade, perhaps more of a status piece than a fighting sword.

From the collection of the late Martin Kerner.

Should this be called a kalasan/djonap?

Sajen 4th January 2017 02:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loedjoe
This cannot be a piso gading, as the hilt is silver/white metal, but perhaps this is an appropriate thread for it?

72 cm, blade 52 cm, hilt 8.5 cm. Light European? blade, perhaps more of a status piece than a fighting sword.

From the collection of the late Martin Kerner.

Should this be called a kalasan/djonap?


Very nice piece as well! And yes, I would call it kalasan. Have you polished the fittings? I think the reddish metal is suassa.

Regards,
Detlef

CharlesS 4th January 2017 03:02 PM

Loedjoe,

I think you are spot on that this cannot be called a gading, because of the very meaning of the word. Perhaps kalasan is a better term.

Regardless, your example is as lovely and ornate as I have seen. Personally, this is one I would clean up a bit, after all, it was the "bling" that you wanted to be seen, but I believe that is up to any individual collector's discretion. The scabbard there is so lovely and elegant!

Battara 4th January 2017 11:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Very nice piece as well! And yes, I would call it kalasan. Have you polished the fittings? I think the reddish metal is suassa.

Regards,
Detlef

I agree with you Detlef. This does look like suassa, and the rest of the hilt material looks silver to me and not white metal.

Also a wonderful piece!

Roland_M 5th January 2017 11:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Roland,

These are status swords that most likely saw ceremonial use only. From the looks of it, the blade may well be older than the already old fittings; maybe a user blade which got promoted to ceremonial use at one point?

The scabbard rings may well be silver. The mouth and foot pieces will have been done by the lost wax method - my best bet would be that the utilized alloy is closer to white brass rather than a low silver alloy though.


Regards,
Kai


Hello Kai,

thank you for your explanation, that makes sense.

Yes, the scabbard rings are of a different material than the endings. The previous owner made a professional laboratory test and they had problems to define the material clearly but it definitely contains silver.

And it is always like christmas and birthday on one day if I see such a structure after days or weeks of hard manual work. In 2016 I had this wonderful moment at least five times.


Best wishes,
Roland

Roland_M 5th January 2017 11:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loedjoe
This cannot be a piso gading, as the hilt is silver/white metal, but perhaps this is an appropriate thread for it?

72 cm, blade 52 cm, hilt 8.5 cm. Light European? blade, perhaps more of a status piece than a fighting sword.

From the collection of the late Martin Kerner.

Should this be called a kalasan/djonap?


Hello Loedjoe,

I think this is the right thread for this beautiful sword, thank you for showing it. I think the blade is of local production, Batak, Aceh and Dayak had great blacksmiths.

In my opinion, the best Aceh-swords are far above European standard of the late 18th and 19th century. Thin, flexible and a cutting edge, hard as glass.

If you find signs of lamination on your blade but no specific pattern, it is almost 100% of local production.

Such a nice scabbard and hilt probably contain a good blade, so I would polish it a little bit to see what is below the corrosion.


Regards,
Roland


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