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-   -   Name of tow Batak Knives (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23443)

Athanase 10th December 2017 06:08 PM

Name of tow Batak Knives
 
3 Attachment(s)
Hello,

I recently acquired these two Batak knives which I don't know either the name or the function.

The first has a handle similar to some Lopah Petawaran seen on the internet but the blade is much simpler.
The second one has a blade very close to the Lopah Petawaran but the handle and the sheath don't look like what I saw elsewhere.
Both knives were collected by the same person before 1941.
How would you name these knives?

First knife :
Blade length : 16cm
Handle in Saro (Capricornis sumatraensis) horn with silver
No scabbard.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...=174301&stc=1//

Second knife :
Blade length : 23,6cm
Handle in buffalo horn and brass.
Scabbard in wood, deer horn, bone and silver.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...=174302&stc=1//
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/attac...=174303&stc=1//

Sajen 11th December 2017 07:57 AM

Hello Athanase,

I think you have there two legitimate Lopah Petawaran, both a little bit unusual but I think they are both members of this rare knives. I nearly bid byself to the one with the face on the handle. Congrats! :)
See also this thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...light=Petawaran

Regards,
Detlef

kai 11th December 2017 09:12 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
I recently acquired these two Batak knives which I don't know either the name or the function.

The first has a handle similar to some Lopah Petawaran seen on the internet but the blade is much simpler.
Blade length : 16cm
Handle in Saro (Capricornis sumatraensis) horn with silver
No scabbard.

This one (with the silver bands at the hilt) indeed resembles typical LPs: It is a known type that usually comes with a simple blade (without an integral bolster) and a only slightly curved hilt that usually shows an exposed tang. On average these seem to be a kind of poor cousin of the typical LP; however, there are a few examples with fittings that suggest higher status wear (as well as pretty basic typical LP). Whether this is a LP variant or a related but distinct type is probably a moot point - I don't know of any primary sources which discuss these blades. Thus, no info on historic names, too.

OTOH, it seems very likely that these had the same ceremonial use as the typical lopah petawaran.


Quote:
The second one has a blade very close to the Lopah Petawaran but the handle and the sheath don't look like what I saw elsewhere.
Blade length : 23,6cm
Handle in buffalo horn and brass.
Scabbard in wood, deer horn, bone and silver.

This blade might be of the typical LP type - could you please post close-ups of all 4 sides (of the base & bolster), please?

The hilt and scabbard are not traditional and obviously later replacements. These look like 20th century work while the blade looks much older...

Regards,
Kai

Athanase 11th December 2017 10:01 PM

Thanks a lot for your answers. :)
I'm waiting for a much more typical Lopah Petawaran that should arrive in a week or two.
I would try to make the photos in the week. ;)

Sajen 12th December 2017 05:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
Thanks a lot for your answers. :)
I'm waiting for a much more typical Lopah Petawaran that should arrive in a week or two.
I would try to make the photos in the week. ;)



Lucky you! :) ;)

Athanase 13th December 2017 08:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello SÚverin,

This blade might be of the typical LP type - could you please post close-ups of all 4 sides (of the base & bolster), please?

Regards,
Kai


The close-up, sorry I didn't manage to do better. :shrug:

kai 26th December 2017 10:39 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
The close-up, sorry I didn't manage to do better.

No worries, these are good enough to verify that this blade is a genuine, typical LP blade of considerable age! I probably never was a high-end piece (some decorations are missing) but more of a modest/decent quality; still, it deserves real Batak fittings rather than the current parody it came with. I'd hide the scabbard in a drawer and even consider to remove the whole hilt: This might sound like a drastic approach but I'm sure it will do the blade justice and arguably make a better display for a cultural fossil...

BTW, please do post pics of the additional LP once it arrives!

Regards,
Kai

Athanase 28th December 2017 11:01 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Hello,
The sheath and the handle would be made for the tourism market?
As the set dates from before 1941 it would therefore be among the first production for tourists?

This is my new Lopah Petawaran. It is more traditional in its form, but the blade seems more recent (there are fine decorations incised on the blade which are eroded therefore difficult to see). The base and the tip of the handle was to be covered with silver but these decorations have unfortunately disappeared. :shrug:
It's not a masterpiece but it was in my budget ... :o

Sajen 28th December 2017 02:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
The sheath and the handle would be made for the tourism market?
As the set dates from before 1941 it would therefore be among the first production for tourists?


When I read carefully between the lines I think that Kai think like this. And really frankly said it was one of the reasons that I don't bid when it was listed by ebay. But in the meantime and looking close to your pictures I am now sure that neither the unusual hilt nor the scabbard mouth and foot are very recent additions, the signs of real use are clear visible. I think that minimum the hilt is tribal work maybe because the original was broken.
I would hesitate to remove the hilt and scabbard mounts only because they don't fit the norm. :shrug:

Regards,
Detlef

Sajen 28th December 2017 02:27 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
This is my new Lopah Petawaran. It is more traditional in its form, but the blade seems more recent (there are fine decorations incised on the blade which are eroded therefore difficult to see). The base and the tip of the handle was to be covered with silver but these decorations have unfortunately disappeared. :shrug:
It's not a masterpiece but it was in my budget ... :o


Very nice piece, congrats! :) Is the handle from horn or akar bahar?

Athanase 28th December 2017 03:23 PM

It's buffalo horn.

Athanase 28th December 2017 03:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
When I read carefully between the lines I think that Kai think like this. And really frankly said it was one of the reasons that I don't bid when it was listed by ebay. But in the meantime and looking close to your pictures I am now sure that neither the unusual hilt nor the scabbard mouth and foot are very recent additions, the signs of real use are clear visible. I think that minimum the hilt is tribal work maybe because the original was broken.
I would hesitate to remove the hilt and scabbard mounts only because they don't fit the norm. :shrug:

Regards,
Detlef


I don't know how to work with wood and horn or silver. Also find plates or wire of silver and horn is easy, but I still don't know what are the wood species traditionally used.
So I would not risk changing the clothing of the blade.

kai 28th December 2017 04:51 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
This is my new Lopah Petawaran. It is more traditional in its form, but the blade seems more recent (there are fine decorations incised on the blade which are eroded therefore difficult to see). The base and the tip of the handle was to be covered with silver but these decorations have unfortunately disappeared. :shrug:
It's not a masterpiece but it was in my budget ... :o

Thanks, this is a really nice Karo example!

Blade is genuine and old, certainly well into the 19th century. The remnants of the engraving are traditional and suggest that this blade is a high-end piece (or at least quality is well above average!).

The horn hilt also looks genuine. Are there any marks left of (now missing) metal rings? From the looks of the ensemble, rings of silver (and possibly suasa) might be expected; however, unless there is clear evidence of them missing, I'd not necessarily speak of any missing rings and also would not replace any...

The horn hilt clearly has age. I might consider cleaning the tang and refixing the hilt; there seems to have been some shrinkage of the horn and a rusting tang may continue to crack the horn - thus, some TLC may help this piece to survive with as little further damage as possible.

How well does the scabbard fit the blade? It's of nice quality and of a known style. Was there anything of note written on the tag?

Regards,
Kai

kai 28th December 2017 04:59 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
I don't know how to work with wood and horn or silver. Also find plates or wire of silver and horn is easy, but I still don't know what are the wood species traditionally used.
So I would not risk changing the clothing of the blade.

Actually, I did not meant to change the fittings to make the piece looking more beautiful: It will be next to impossible to find genuine ones; also crafting replacements of reasonable quality will be very tough (and also not easy to make them looking old enough).

I believe to strip all fittings and display the nekkid blade next to your latest example might be a valid (and arguably sensible) option though. ;)

Regards,
Kai

kai 28th December 2017 05:37 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
The sheath and the handle would be made for the tourism market?
As the set dates from before 1941 it would therefore be among the first production for tourists?

Yes, I am certain that the scabbard is tourist and also the craftsmanship of the hilt is way to poor to be legitimate for a guru piece; these fittings may well date from the first half of the 20th century though. (Any good evidence for the 1941 date you mention?)

Already during the second half of the 19th century, burgeoning tourist destinations (and associated souvenir/curio market opportunities) developed in Toba and later Karo lands. By the last quarter of the 19th century, Chinese-run workshops in Medan produced (or at least Chinese traders ordered) new pseudo-Batak artifacts in considerable numbers! These were never intended for traditional use and sold to colonial officials, European/American businessmen (including plantation owners/etc.), and visitors. The motifs try to look "Batak" but usually fall short of the real thing and often exhibit cross-cultural influences. I do believe it is fair to tag these as tourist pieces...

Because quite a few of these souvenirs are already over 100 years old themselves, collecting Batak is a quagmire!

Regards,
Kai

Athanase 28th December 2017 08:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
The horn hilt clearly has age. I might consider cleaning the tang and refixing the hilt; there seems to have been some shrinkage of the horn and a rusting tang may continue to crack the horn - thus, some TLC may help this piece to survive with as little further damage as possible.

How well does the scabbard fit the blade? It's of nice quality and of a known style. Was there anything of note written on the tag?

Regards,
Kai


There are three marks about 2 cm from the base of the handle. There are also remnants of resin that go from the base to the height of these marks.
The tang is not rusty and there is resin residue inside the handle.
The fitting between scabbard and blade is good but not perfect.

kai 28th December 2017 11:51 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
The tang is not rusty and there is resin residue inside the handle.

Well, the flash does prove a bit of red rust to be present... ;)

The tang looks robust and it is possible that stable and active rust are relatively thin.

How wide is the gap? 3-4 mm? There may be a single "crown" missing here (usually made of suasa)!


Quote:
The fitting between scabbard and blade is good but not perfect.

Sounds good - given some erosion of the blade and shrinking of the wood a perfect fit is not to be expected.

Congrats, looks like a nice, genuine ensemble!

Regards,
Kai

kai 28th December 2017 11:55 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Was there anything of note written on the tag?

In case it was already missing when you received it - did you asked the seller about the tag at the mouth of the scabbard?

Regards,
Kai

Athanase 29th December 2017 11:57 AM

Sorry, I had forgotten this question.
On the label he was just noted the seller's inventory numbers. ;)

Sajen 29th December 2017 06:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I believe to strip all fittings and display the nekkid blade next to your latest example might be a valid (and arguably sensible) option though. ;)


Hello Kai,

I wouldn't try to advice someone to strip all fittings from a knife by looking at a picture on a pc screen and without handling the piece in question. What I can see on the pictures is that the handle collar look very well patinated and the horn pommel show as well use. But I may be wrong!? :shrug:

Regards,
Detlef


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