Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Nobility Moro Kris (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23183)

Aslan Paladin 26th September 2017 08:51 AM

Nobility Moro Kris
 
6 Attachment(s)
This listing for a nobility kris sword just ended and unfortunately I didn't win it. I don't see a lot of examples of this (I saw one in Cato's book, figure 53, page 86) but I know it's Tausug based on the pommel shape. It has a few missing ivory inlays that's why I was hesitant to go any higher with my bid. Hopefully the winner is a forum member and can post more pics. http://www.ebay.com/itm/antique-mor...=p2047675.l2557

Aslan Paladin 26th September 2017 08:53 AM

5 Attachment(s)
Further pictures of the sword.

alexish 26th September 2017 09:11 AM

I think that this is a newer 20th century Moro kris, due to the sharp luks on the blade. The older Moro blades tend to have more gentle and sublime luks. Additionally, the ganjar appears to be more 2D in the newer krises.

Robert 26th September 2017 10:27 AM

This interesting piece would really need be cleaned and clearer more detailed photos taken before I would normally post comments, but to me the hilt inlay's look more like they could be made of bone rather than of ivory. It is also not really clear if the gangya is actually a separate piece or if the line that would normally indicate this is just engraved to make it look like it is. I hope that whoever won this piece is a forum member and that they will post more information and better quality photos of it after they have received it.

Best,
Robert

Aslan Paladin 26th September 2017 10:38 AM

It may have somewhat sharp luks but they don't look like they have been cut into the blade but rather forged into the blade itself. The blade also shows lamination patterns as well as a separate gangya with well defined greneng and kembang kacang. And the asang asangs as well as the silver (?) fittings of the hilt especially the woven rings do not seem to be the types seen in newer kris swords. The pommel seems to be of kamagong/Philippine ebony with ivory inlays (which is usually the case with antique datu barong swords with similar style of pommel). I think this sword would be at the earliest late 19th century to at the latest first quarter of the 20th century.

All of this is of course just speculation until we get a better and closer look at the sword.

Aslan Paladin 26th September 2017 11:10 AM

A similar ivory/bone and ebony/horn combo pommel on a kris, albeit round instead of hexagonal pommel, can be found in this thread http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ht=ivory+barong, as well as these http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ight=ivory+kris http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=datu+kris

mross 26th September 2017 02:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexish
I think that this is a newer 20th century Moro kris, due to the sharp luks on the blade. The older Moro blades tend to have more gentle and sublime luks. Additionally, the ganjar appears to be more 2D in the newer krises.

I agree, it looks new, and I also think the inlays are bone. I would not put to much faith in Cato.

Ian 26th September 2017 05:04 PM

As noted already, this blade needs cleaning before we really know what it is. However, I don't think the blade is a 20th C. piece. On cleaning, I think we would find it has a separate gangya and a fairly active laminated pattern. If so, then it is probably a late 19th C. blade. The elephant trunk area suggests Maguindanao manufacture (if we believe Cato's classification).

The hilt, on the other hand, is more difficult to define. The style could be Maguindanao or Maranao, but the type of metal will determine whether it is a royalty piece. If there is some gold in the metal fittings (probably not but could be) then it will have been for a prominent owner (powerful datu or royalty). If it's brass, then it's a much less prestigious piece. The woven bands look like they could be silver but the whole thing is too dirty to be sure. Ivory versus bone inserts similarly reflect the importance of its owner (I also think they are likely bone). The triangular inserts were still being used into the 20th C. and our friend, Battara, can tell us more about them as he has restored several barung and kris with this style of decoration.

This is a nice kris but it needs some work before we could really discuss its merits.

Ian.

Aslan Paladin 26th September 2017 05:26 PM

I know it has been said that Cato may not be Gospel truth when it comes to Moro swords, he did state that "One impressive style, used by Sulu, Samal and Yakan datus, featured a large kamagong knob-type pommel with triangular bone or ivory inlays." For what its worth it is possible the hilt of this kris sword is Sulu in origin (if we go by Cato).

Ian 26th September 2017 06:02 PM

Hi AP:

Our posts crossed. Yes, I agree that the luk appear to be forged and not ground out, and that this is not like the later 20th C. tourist versions others are alluding to. The blade seems well made in a traditional manner. As I noted above, I think your dating is fairly accurate.

Ian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aslan Paladin
It may have somewhat sharp luks but they don't look like they have been cut into the blade but rather forged into the blade itself. The blade also shows lamination patterns as well as a separate gangya with well defined greneng and kembang kacang. And the asang asangs as well as the silver (?) fittings of the hilt especially the woven rings do not seem to be the types seen in newer kris swords. The pommel seems to be of kamagong/Philippine ebony with ivory inlays (which is usually the case with antique datu barong swords with similar style of pommel). I think this sword would be at the earliest late 19th century to at the latest first quarter of the 20th century.

All of this is of course just speculation until we get a better and closer look at the sword.

CCUAL 26th September 2017 09:39 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
As noted already, this blade needs cleaning before we really know what it is. However, I don't think the blade is a 20th C. piece. On cleaning, I think we would find it has a separate gangya and a fairly active laminated pattern. If so, then it is probably a late 19th C. blade. The elephant trunk area suggests Maguindanao manufacture (if we believe Cato's classification).

The hilt, on the other hand, is more difficult to define. The style could be Maguindanao or Maranao, but the type of metal will determine whether it is a royalty piece. If there is some gold in the metal fittings (probably not but could be) then it will have been for a prominent owner (powerful datu or royalty). If it's brass, then it's a much less prestigious piece. The woven bands look like they could be silver but the whole thing is too dirty to be sure. Ivory versus bone inserts similarly reflect the importance of its owner (I also think they are likely bone). The triangular inserts were still being used into the 20th C. and our friend, Battara, can tell us more about them as he has restored several barung and kris with this style of decoration.

This is a nice kris but it needs some work before we could really discuss its merits.

Ian.





i picked this up on ebay sometime ago. nothing was changed or altered what so ever, the only thing i did was clean the blade. so this is maranao or maguindanao as well?


see link:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=twistcore

Aslan Paladin 26th September 2017 11:14 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCUAL
i picked this up on ebay sometime ago. nothing was changed or altered what so ever, the only thing i did was clean the blade. so this is maranao or maguindanao as well?


see link:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=twistcore



Going by Cato I think your kris blade is of the Sulu style as the lower jaw of mouth cavity of the kembang kacang (borrowing indonesian kris terminology) or elephant's head and trunk design of the gangya is pointing or angled downward and the shape of the mouth of the cavity itself is elliptical.

The sword in the original post has a blade of the Maguindanao style (as stated by Ian) as the lower jaw is perpendicular to the side of the guard rather than angled downward. It is unlikely of the Maranao style as the portion beneath the lower jaw is concave and not protruding forward. Overall I would go out on a limb and say the entire kris itself is Maguindanao made, with the Sulu style hilt explained by the historical contact between the inhabitants of Maguindanao and Sulu via trade.

Battara 26th September 2017 11:42 PM

I agree with Ian that this is a Maguindanao blade and and from the early 20th century. I can tell that it is pattern welded.

The metal mounts seem to be made of woven silver and brass or low copper/silver alloy bands.

As far as the pommel is concerned, it looks like horn, though there is a possibility of kamagong. The inlays are definitely bone. This is still a datu class piece.

Aslan Paladin 27th September 2017 12:11 AM

Battara, is this is a ceremonial datu sword or a working type datu sword?

CCUAL 27th September 2017 12:16 AM

1 Attachment(s)
So, is it safe to call that both of krisses are of Sulu origin? sorry,don't meant to highjack this thread.

Aslan Paladin 27th September 2017 12:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCUAL
So, is it safe to call that both of krisses are of Sulu origin? sorry,don't meant to highjack this thread.


Yes, I think that both your kris swords are from Sulu. I am even more certain with the archaic kris.

CCUAL 27th September 2017 03:13 AM

2 Attachment(s)
i am still not convinced about the Maguindanaoan thing.

Aslan Paladin 27th September 2017 04:24 AM

It would be hard to state categorically that the kris is Maguindanao in origin as we only have the guard of the blade and the hilt to base our guess with (the blade suggesting Maguindanao and the hilt more likely Sulu). And we don't know if both parts were born together or married at a later date without inspection of the blade attachment to the hilt. The sword didn't come with a scabbard. Even Cato himself said that to successfully identify the origin of a kris a collector must look for clues in the guard, the form of the scabbard, and the configuration of the hilt in that order, and this is assuming the sword is all original in its parts with no marriages or replacement whatsoever. A proper provenance would be of big help but the seller only said it was found in an attic trunk. But still the opinion that the kris is Maguindanao in origin is IMHO reasonable using the guard configuration guideline set by Cato as has been mentioned before.

CCUAL 27th September 2017 07:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aslan Paladin
It would be hard to state categorically that the kris is Maguindanao in origin as we only have the guard of the blade and the hilt to base our guess with (the blade suggesting Maguindanao and the hilt more likely Sulu). And we don't know if both parts were born together or married at a later date without inspection of the blade attachment to the hilt. The sword didn't come with a scabbard. Even Cato himself said that to successfully identify the origin of a kris a collector must look for clues in the guard, the form of the scabbard, and the configuration of the hilt in that order, and this is assuming the sword is all original in its parts with no marriages or replacement whatsoever. A proper provenance would be of big help but the seller only said it was found in an attic trunk. But still the opinion that the kris is Maguindanao in origin is IMHO reasonable using the guard configuration guideline set by Cato as has been mentioned before.


I am also one of the lucky owner of the famous Moro Book by Robert Cato, it became my collection bible for over 15 years, and continuously my guideline book up to now, and some thoughts from friends.

What I should have done was to post my krisses blade alone first for comparison, as the scabbard was a giveaway. The argument "might" have shifted differently.

Well said. Thank you.

Battara 28th September 2017 01:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aslan Paladin
Battara, is this is a ceremonial datu sword or a working type datu sword?

This would be a ceremonial sword and not a working one, which would be simpler.

Battara 28th September 2017 01:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCUAL
So, is it safe to call that both of krisses are of Sulu origin? sorry,don't meant to highjack this thread.

I would agree with Aslan that your krises are both Sulu in origin.

Battara 28th September 2017 01:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aslan Paladin
It would be hard to state categorically that the kris is Maguindanao in origin as we only have the guard of the blade and the hilt to base our guess with (the blade suggesting Maguindanao and the hilt more likely Sulu). And we don't know if both parts were born together or married at a later date without inspection of the blade attachment to the hilt. The sword didn't come with a scabbard. Even Cato himself said that to successfully identify the origin of a kris a collector must look for clues in the guard, the form of the scabbard, and the configuration of the hilt in that order, and this is assuming the sword is all original in its parts with no marriages or replacement whatsoever. A proper provenance would be of big help but the seller only said it was found in an attic trunk. But still the opinion that the kris is Maguindanao in origin is IMHO reasonable using the guard configuration guideline set by Cato as has been mentioned before.

I mentioned that the blade is Maguindanao. This is based on the front and even the back of the ganga, though the back of the ganga is stylized not perfectly fitting any form. However, enough of the form exists to suggest to me Maguindanao influence at least, if not direct manufacture.

The chasing on the hilt bands are Maguindanao as well and the pommel form is found in both Maguindanao and Sulu regions. Datus of that era have been photographed having such a pommel from both regions.

With lots of trade and movement between the two regions, it is not unheard of to have cross cultural and artistic influences.

And regarding Cato - he is a good start and still valid in my opinion. However, it is also important to remember that even with all good research, updates and corrections are normal and necessary, even to the greatest of works.

Spunjer 28th September 2017 09:45 PM

here's a couple more krises with horse hoof type pommels. one is Maguindanao, and the other, Sulu

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=19341

and another one. actually almost similar to the one on eBay. the inlays on the side and the top are ivory. classic Sulu, this one.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17842

mross 29th September 2017 05:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I agree with Ian that this is a Maguindanao blade and and from the early 20th century. I can tell that it is pattern welded.

The metal mounts seem to be made of woven silver and brass or low copper/silver alloy bands.

As far as the pommel is concerned, it looks like horn, though there is a possibility of kamagong. The inlays are definitely bone. This is still a datu class piece.


Jose,
I like your wording much better than mine. I tend to be kinda blunt. I agree with your assessment. The pattern welding shows through even in the dirt, the luks just are not done well. As to Cato, it's a good starting point but that is as far as I will go.

Battara 29th September 2017 10:33 PM

Some Magindanao smiths started making these kind of luks after the turn of the 20th century. It seems that a more exaggerated form of these luks cam much later and copied by recent makers.

CharlesS 16th October 2017 05:23 PM

10 Attachment(s)
Here is the originally discussed kriss restored. The missing bone has been replaced, the blade cleaned and lightly etched, and the hilt fittings restored to their original luster.

The silver baca-baca have a lot of pinkish tint to them as does the top grip mount, and while it would be tempting to think they were swassa, I am convinced that they are a poor copper-silver alloy.

The grip fittings are not as well executed as they could be...not as crisp and precise. The blade is quite lovely etched. Based on the original pics I was expecting more pitting, but there was little or none.

The ganja is a classic Moro super tight fit but is separate from the blade.

I agree with the opinions that this is an early 20th-century piece....let's say before 1930.

mross 16th October 2017 06:36 PM

Cleaned up nice!

Aslan Paladin 16th October 2017 06:46 PM

Nice restoration on the pommel Charles. I'm glad that it was you who got it and brought it back to its old glory. It is exactly how I envisioned it would be. Got to love the nice blade lamination pattern and the exquisitely shaped greneng.

Sajen 16th October 2017 06:48 PM

Great restore job! :)

David 16th October 2017 07:21 PM

Nice job Charles!


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