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Old 1st August 2020, 02:30 PM   #2
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Ian's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,300

Hello Yves.

Thank you for showing this beautiful Sulu barung. I believe this one is indeed a datu quality piece. The extensive use of silver on the hilt, with braided silver rings (budbud) overlying the silver punto, is an indicator of a high quality piece intended for a wealthy individual. You are correct that the pommel is missing. The peg protruding from the end of the hilt would have been used to secure the pommel, possibly an elaborate junggayan one made of precious wood or ivory.

Some years ago I had a barung with a similar, silver-covered, hilt missing its pommel and I have seen at least three other examples also missing their pommels. It seems that their owners may have fallen on hard financial times and removed the valuable pommels for sale. Filipino friends have told me this happens occasionally.

I had my barung restored to completeness by battara, who is also a Moderator on this Forum. He made a silver kakatua pommel that really brought the barung back to life and made its gin happy again.

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