Originally Posted by Lee
This kris is in the Museo del EjÚrcito (Army Museum) in Toledo, Spain. My thoughts on its age were similar to those expressed above, despite the fact that I have long carried a strong suspicion that some kris and budiak specimens are significantly older than we believe. I included the kampilan and Igorot axe for scale, I'd say this kris is little smaller than most, but not by that much.
This is why I present this example with a documented date of presentation of 1835 and entry shortly thereafter into the museum.
It's very helpful to have these well provenanced pieces to guide dating our collections. In looking at this one and the dates indicated, it's perhaps easier to see some of the features that point to this period. For example, the slightly wider blade than what we typically see on kris
pre-1800 might reflect a transition towards the heavier and wider Maguidanao kris
of the second half of the 19th C.
As noted above, the unusually well carved blade suggested ownership by a prominent datu
. One thing we often overlook is the relationship between Moro groups and the Sultanate of Brunei. The latter was very influential among the Moro groups of the 19th C and earlier, and it is possible that this blade was made in Brunei. That might explain some of the refined carving that suggests to me a possible Malay connection.