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Old 16th October 2019, 08:24 AM   #16
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,033

Originally Posted by Gavin Nugent
Most aspersions are simply cast that these are modern and by my own personal definition of "modern", I tend to somewhat agree but by what "age" definition is "modern" or "recent" when cast without a date in time being noted?

I seem to recall that several weapons of this manufacture and design elements are found in a museum in Hawaii, reputed to have been political gifts circa WWII/immediately post WWII. If the provenance is indeed correct, 70+ years is getting on and not too far in to the future, such loose dating may be quite misleading
Hi Gavin:

Good point you raise about what the terms "recent" or "modern" may mean. To me these terms generally refer to something made within the last 25 years or so (i.e., roughly post-1995) but I don't know of a formal definition. Unlike "vintage" (> 50 years old) and "antique" (> 100 years old), we really don't have standard terms for periods less than 50 years.

In discussions such as the one above, I try to lay out periods in which these weapons likely fall--such as "mid-20th C" (roughly 1940-1960), "post-WWII" (1945-1955), "second half of the 20th C" (1950-2000), "late 20th C" (1970-2000), etc. Dating is always approximate with Filipino weapons because very few have dates that reflect when they were made. Sometimes the materials are helpful, such as the use of aluminum in the post-WWII period, but mostly we have to rely on subtleties of style.

In the present discussion we do see some materials (clam shell, mango wood) that suggest late-20th C or 21st C manufacture. Some of the decorative elements are also common to that period. Are these features seen occasionally on earlier pieces? I think they are, but the 1980s and especially the 1990s saw a ramping up of decorative Moro pieces to be sold to tourists, particularly Americans and Europeans, and also to Filipinos in the north. The antique stores of Manila and Makati were stocking many more Moro items in the 1980s/1990s than previously. However, production in Moroland likely preceded the increased marketing in Manila by several decades--hence my question about whether these were purchased in Zamboanga.

Putting all this together, the most likely time in which the items under discussion were assembled seems to be the early 1970s (allowing for the period in which the original collector was in the Philippines), which would make them almost "vintage."

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