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Old 9th June 2015, 06:07 AM   #1
Green
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Default batak knives?

I bought these knives some years back which are supposed to be from the Batak tribes of Sumatera. The blades are plain but the scabbards were decorated quite nicely and made of deer antler.

I wonder what these knives are for? are they just tourist traps or used in some ways culturally? Looked quite old but I'm not sure, may be early or mid 20th century. Hope someone(s) can explain.
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Old 9th June 2015, 07:34 PM   #2
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Hello Green,
maaf, I think that your knives are for those who travel.

Salam,
Detlef
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Old 9th June 2015, 07:56 PM   #3
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ah well....
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Old 9th June 2015, 11:05 PM   #4
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Hello Nik,

I'm with Detlef, unfortunately. One can guess which blade types apparently were used for inspiration of sorts - none of the fittings comes close to traditional designs though (despite quite some efforts going into carving these).

I don't have much hopes for the blades but close-ups may help to verify. Almost certainly post-WW2, probably considerably later.

There is also a thriving local pimp-up industry (probably located in the Medan area) which often seems to utilise/modify vintage or even antique blades and adds artificially aged high-status fittings for a better selling margin.
Some of these can be quite convincing...

Having said that, Batak pieces are among the oldest "reproductions" available with some of these pieces (solely produced for sale outside the original culture, i. e. the colonial curio market) already having attained genuine antique status themselves. Acquiring Batak tribal art is a real quagmire and it helps to be kinda paranoid!

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Kai
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Old 11th June 2015, 02:08 PM   #5
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Thanks Detlef and Kai for confirming my hunch. That does it, this lot will go to father in law's next birthday present ...shhh don't tell anyone.
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