Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Thanks for showing these two kris. The differences between Sulu and Maguindanao can be tricky sometimes and I think you are right about the heavier blade probably being Maguindanao in origin (even though the "eagle beak" on the blade might suggest Sulu, at least according to Cato).
I wonder whether the brass on the pommel of the Maguindanao kris might actually be covering a more traditional wooden horse-hoof pommel with its octagonal facets. There is a hint of some other straight sides on the brass pommel rim that might reflect an underlying octagonal shape.
The method of attaching the metal cladding of the pommel is identical in each case: the metal from the handle piece is folded over the plate that caps the end of the hilt. This is an unusual configuration in my experience but Jose has more expertise and might be able to comment on this technique and how commonly he has seen it. In any case, the hilts are very similar in construction (apart from the metals) and seem to have come from the same craftsman.
The heavier blade, with its extensive etching, is certainly odd and I agree it suggests a non-Moro origin. You mention a "lost wax" method but I'm not familiar with that technique for etching--I've seen it used for cast metal pieces, such as the T'boli and Bagobo hits.
Very interesting pair and nicely restored.