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Old 14th September 2020, 12:40 PM   #4
A. G. Maisey
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,651
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Uncommon.

I cannot recall seeing a tombak blade with any engraving of text.

I do have a couple of tombak from the Mangkunegaraan armoury that have dates on the metuks. I have a Jayasukadgo tombak with heavy kinatah work.

I have a couple of "souvenir" type, very poor quality tombak that have been "batiked", ie, letters have been acid etched onto the blade, one of these has Chinese ideographs that read "big man San Po Kong". This sort of thing is common, they come from North Coast and East Jawa, and refer to Cheng Ho (Zheng He), the Chinese commander of the Ming Treasure Fleet that visited Jawa during the Mojopahit era and helped to spread Islam there. They are cheap talismanic things. Most that we see are pretty recently made, very poor quality but genuinely old tombak that have been acid etched after having been waxed to create the letters.
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