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.