Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oxford (UK)
Pictures posted here, with pleasure (they are the ones taken by the auction house; rather better than ones I would be able to take).
Measurements - 42 cm, blade 25 cm (9.5 mm thick at the base), hilt and collar 17 cm.
The hilt is hippopotamus ivory; on each of the four sides, immediately below the pommel, there is an incised flower (a lotus?) with the tip pointing towards the blade, all four very worn with age, the design on one side almost invisible.
The blade is slightly flexible towards the tip – the rencong was received slightly bent at the tip, and was able to be straightened. This seems to me a curious feature; surely it would be fairly useless as a weapon if the tip bends so easily – but perhaps as a status piece it was not really intended for use? Has anyone else come across rencong with bendable tips?
Collected for his private collection by a European businessman, Riccardo Salvini, the representative of the firms Transmarina Kompaniet Aktiebolag and Aktiebolaget Svensk-Engelska Oceankompaniet, in Stockholm, during his journey through India, the Dutch Indies and Batavia (Java) and the Far East between 1920 and 1921.
Does anyone know anything about Salvini and his collection? Information about him/it would be most welcome.