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Old 29th April 2014, 02:44 AM   #1
drac2k
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Default Interesting Philippine Sundang for comment

Here is an interesting massive Sundang that I just acquired; as you can see, there is a lot going on in the blade. The handle is in bad disrepair.
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Old 29th April 2014, 03:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Here is an interesting massive Sundang that I just acquired; as you can see, there is a lot going on in the blade. The handle is in bad disrepair.

drac2k: You have a nice clean blade with good inlays. I think this is an early 50s piece. I have one similar but with an intact asang and handle. Too bad the pommel is broken. There is a dealer on ebay who has some very nice new moro handles that are made in the correct style. This could be one way you could go if you feel like doing any restoration...........Dave.
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Old 29th April 2014, 04:17 AM   #3
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Thanks Dave, I thought it could be post WW2, but it is of pretty good quality; are the inlays silver ? It is a distinctive blade; any way of knowing who made it ?
It would be great seeing yours, intact.Any chance ?
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Old 29th April 2014, 09:45 AM   #4
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Hello Drac2k,

yes, agree with Dave, a post WWII blade of nice quality, the sharp luks indicate it as later blade. If the inlays are from silver you only can test byself with silver test or let it test by a jeweler. Like Dave said there is a dealer who sell time by time nice handles but maybe you can grind it down to a form like this one from my own collection: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=12825
Handle wrapping can be done easily, the biggest concern will be the missing asang-asang.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 29th April 2014, 11:17 AM   #5
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In original auction listing it was going as part of the William Herbert McGinty collection. Collected between the late 1800's and early 1900's, in storage since 1930's.

I don't thrust auction descriptions much, and it looks like quite later then early 1900's kris to me also, yet could we expect a separate Ganja on a post WWII example?

It seems to be evident that pointy luks appeared already around 1900:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...maranao+sundang

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Old 29th April 2014, 11:45 AM   #6
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Old 29th April 2014, 12:36 PM   #7
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Wow, the picture shown looks very much like mine ; it could be it's brother. With the distinctive blade, could it have been made by the same "sword smith ," or a family member?
Now, I am confused; generally as a rule of thumb, I thought that the larger kris , with sharp luk(s), were WW2 or later .I have seen old postings from the Smithsonian with such swords attributed to being brought back from the Moro Insurrections, but as we all know, even museums get things wrong : so I thought ,maybe they made a mistake .At this time, I am not so sure .
Great information coming in from the forum !
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Old 29th April 2014, 08:32 PM   #8
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Congrats, a very good bargain you got there!

Quote:
I thought it could be post WW2, but it is of pretty good quality; are the inlays silver ? It is a distinctive blade; any way of knowing who made it ?

I believe this could well be Maranao, possibly from the Lake Lanao area.

I don't think we'll be able to pin down the panday who crafted this blade - it's probably more like a recognizable style which was in fashion during an extended period and possibly crafted by a number of (possibly unrelated) bladesmiths. At least there are varying qualities if you compare several similar pieces.

I'm fairly convinced that the inlay is silver. If it tarnishes like silver a while after polishing, you probably won't need to test it. Brass inlay is more difficult to work with and this is quality work done for a customer who could afford to pay for silver.

I believe that Detlef's sugggestion to recarve the remaining pommel is certainly worth a try. Get Jose to do some metal bands for the gripping area if you like to restore the original appearance as much as possible.

Are you going to etch the blade? I believe it could be worth it!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th April 2014, 09:01 PM   #9
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Hello Gustav,

Quote:
In original auction listing it was going as part of the William Herbert McGinty collection. Collected between the late 1800's and early 1900's, in storage since 1930's.

I don't thrust auction descriptions much, and it looks like quite later then early 1900's kris to me also, yet could we expect a separate Ganja on a post WWII example?

Sure, there are post-WW2 kris with seperate gangya, usually kalis from Sulu though.

I agree that auction listings have to be taken with a lump of salt.

However, this kris is of very decent quality and, even with only the pics to go by, I'd suggest a pre-1930 origin. As you already mentioned, there are more examples that are pretty much in line with this example, especially if we assume that "early 1900's" is not meant very strictly...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 30th April 2014, 12:55 AM   #10
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Thanks for the additional information, Kai. I never believe what is stated in an auction listing.I did get this kris and others(I also got outbid on some good ones), from the recent auction of items from the William Herbert Mcginty Collection.I can tell you that he had some great stuff! This was the second offering of his items and what I thought was my best kept secret until it was posted on this forum calling all members to arms.Even though I did better on the first listing(different auctioneer), I was pleased with the results.
In regards to etching, I am not experienced enough to try and I rather not harm an item, which by luck has been placed in my care.
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Old 30th April 2014, 01:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Thanks Dave, I thought it could be post WW2, but it is of pretty good quality; are the inlays silver ? It is a distinctive blade; any way of knowing who made it ?
It would be great seeing yours, intact.Any chance ?

drac2k: Here is mine. Aside from the silver handle, it is virtually identical to yours. I still feel that this a late 40s early 50s kris. One way to tell if something is silver is to put a dab of full strength ferric chloride on the part to be tested. If it is silver it will turn black or at least a darker color depending on the percentage of alloy it contains.....works for me............Dave.
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Old 30th April 2014, 02:48 AM   #12
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Great blade and great handle ! Thanks for the info.After reading all of the threads, I could go either way, but now I'm leaning towards the 1930's theory ; either way, I'm happy with the kris .
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Old 30th April 2014, 04:56 AM   #13
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Old 30th April 2014, 11:09 AM   #14
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Hi Drac and Dave,

Regarding age, Dave your example is made without a separate 'ganja' and I do believe that one is a later one, but Drac's example has the separate ganja and the workmanship(chiseling and silver inlay) seems a bit crisper, though the curves do seem awfully 'extreme' for an earlier example.

I think that example is more likely early 20th century though the blade's exaggerated curves, especially at the forte, seem to argue against it a bit.
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Old 30th April 2014, 06:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Hi Drac and Dave,

Regarding age, Dave your example is made without a separate 'ganja' and I do believe that one is a later one, but Drac's example has the separate ganja and the workmanship(chiseling and silver inlay) seems a bit crisper, though the curves do seem awfully 'extreme' for an earlier example.

I think that example is more likely early 20th century though the blade's exaggerated curves, especially at the forte, seem to argue against it a bit.

Charles: After looking much closer at his pictures, it does indeed have a two piece ganja. With just a quick look i missed it. It probably does place it a generation or two earlier than at first glance. Apparently sharp lucs might not always be an indicator of later pieces............Dave.
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Old 30th April 2014, 06:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveS
Charles: After looking much closer at his pictures, it does indeed have a two piece ganja. With just a quick look i missed it. It probably does place it a generation or two earlier than at first glance. Apparently sharp lucs might not always be an indicator of later pieces............Dave.


I also noticed the seperate ganja at first, so I have to agree with Dave.
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Old 30th April 2014, 09:51 PM   #17
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Gentleman, is it beyond reason to believe that a post WWII kris could be crafted WITH a separate gangya? Sure, it's probably a rare occurrence, but then so is a pre-WWII kris with pointy luks. Another clue might be found in the metal itself. Is this laminated or mono steel? I'm fairly certain that is just design work and that this is not a twisted core. Can't really see any definite lines of lamination throughout either. If it is mono steel AND has pointy luks i would be more inclined to a later dating.
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Old 1st May 2014, 01:37 AM   #18
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What I find interesting about Dave's kris is that it has a mixture of sharp pointy luk and more typical late 19th, early 20th century smoother flowing luk. If you look at all the pictures, not all the luk are pointy. In my experience, the later pieces have ALL pointy luk. I think the provenance is solid enough on this piece. To name an individual and the fact that the items were in storage since the 1930's I don't think was provided loosely. Auction houses rarely list that kind of provenance. If they didn't have a certain degree of certainty I don't think they would have mentioned that. Then again, I have seen auction houses out and out lie but I don't think that is the norm, I think that tends to be the exception. I think they misidentify way, way more but in this particular case I would have more confidence in the provenance and would say this kris is 1900-1920. Without the provenance, I personally would have placed that sword circa 1930-40 so we are only talking a 20-30 year difference. Where did the dating philosophy of pointy luk originate? Has it ever been challenged? Are there other provenance examples that show pointy luk that pre-date WW2? I think this piece stands on its own and whether it is 1920 or 1950 is pretty inconsequential to its appeal as is.
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Old 1st May 2014, 10:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveS
Charles: After looking much closer at his pictures, it does indeed have a two piece ganja. With just a quick look i missed it. It probably does place it a generation or two earlier than at first glance. Apparently sharp lucs might not always be an indicator of later pieces............Dave.


Dave,

I learned a long time ago that as soon as we make "rules" about things such as origins, age, terminology, etc., within no time something will come along to challenge the 'rule', so I am always open to possibilities of variations, and
"no rules" when it comes to analyzing things now...I am sure you know what I mean!...and this certainly could apply to this kriss.
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Old 1st May 2014, 02:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSWORD
What I find interesting about Dave's kris is that it has a mixture of sharp pointy luk and more typical late 19th, early 20th century smoother flowing luk. If you look at all the pictures, not all the luk are pointy. In my experience, the later pieces have ALL pointy luk. I think the provenance is solid enough on this piece. To name an individual and the fact that the items were in storage since the 1930's I don't think was provided loosely. Auction houses rarely list that kind of provenance. If they didn't have a certain degree of certainty I don't think they would have mentioned that. Then again, I have seen auction houses out and out lie but I don't think that is the norm, I think that tends to be the exception. I think they misidentify way, way more but in this particular case I would have more confidence in the provenance and would say this kris is 1900-1920. Without the provenance, I personally would have placed that sword circa 1930-40 so we are only talking a 20-30 year difference. Where did the dating philosophy of pointy luk originate? Has it ever been challenged? Are there other provenance examples that show pointy luk that pre-date WW2? I think this piece stands on its own and whether it is 1920 or 1950 is pretty inconsequential to its appeal as is.

Rick, it sounds like you are talking about Drac2k's kris, not Dave's. Is that correct? Sounds like you are. If so, i don't think anyone is denying that this kris has "appeal" based upon it's age. I agree that it's a really nice item regardless of the exact age. I also agree that many of our assumptions about judging age on these weapons should be challenged. It seems that most of what we tend to think in this regard is all based on one book, Cato. So i think there is always room for questions. I think there are certainly examples of pre-1930s kris that don't have a separate gangya and certainly there are some examples of newer kris that do.
I would still be interested to know if this blade is laminated or mono steel. Drac2k, you don't need to be particularly skilled to do a mild etch on this blade. Vinegar can act as a gentle etching agent, enough at least to show laminations in the blade if they exist. It is also very easy to polish the effect off. Kind of hard to ruin the blade with this method. I still think knowing whether it is laminated or mono steel will go a long way in helping top determine the age of this kris. While i think there are some examples out there of older mono steel pieces, most older kris are laminated and most recent examples tend to be mono steel. Again, if it is indeed mono steel AND has pointy luks it seems a good indication for a later dating.
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Old 1st May 2014, 06:40 PM   #21
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Thanks for the information.I bought an old Philippine blade in poor condition to explore etching.Do you use white, wine, cider, etc. vinegar.Do you soak it or brush it on? How long do you leave it on ? Do you neutralize it with baking soda when finished . Is there any treatment afterwards.
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Old 1st May 2014, 06:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Thanks for the information.I bought an old Philippine blade in poor condition to explore etching.Do you use white, wine, cider, etc. vinegar.Do you soak it or brush it on? How long do you leave it on ? Do you neutralize it with baking soda when finished . Is there any treatment afterwards.


I use vinegar essence and dilute it with water, make it hot and brush it on. Some blades show soon reaction and others not. You will see the reaction. And yes, clean the blade under running hot water and neutralize it with baking soda when finished. You can brush it also carefully with steel wool after all, not to strong! This is how I do it, others will do it a little bit different. Normally it will work.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 2nd May 2014, 02:21 AM   #23
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What percentage of vinegar essence to water; 50/ 50, 25%/75% ? Do you mix them in a pan and heat ? Do you brush on the mixture and steel wool immediately or do you let it sit until you see a reaction and then steel wool after rinsing with water and neutralizing it with baking soda ?
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Old 2nd May 2014, 05:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
What percentage of vinegar essence to water; 50/ 50, 25%/75% ? Do you mix them in a pan and heat ? Do you brush on the mixture and steel wool immediately or do you let it sit until you see a reaction and then steel wool after rinsing with water and neutralizing it with baking soda ?


I don't use something to make my mixture, I heat water in a pan and put the essence later in, would guess it is a mixture 10 (vinegar essence)/90 (water)% (look that your wife is not at home and open the window, strong smell) and brush it on with a dishwashing brush with natural hair until I see the reaction, first one site and than the other, when I am happy with the result I rinsing it with hot water, after this neutralizing with baking soda (you also can use soap), dry the blade (blow-dryer) and after this you can polish it carefully with steel wool. Don't forget to oil the blade after all! Like said, others will have an other practice but this works normally for me. But frankly said not every time I have had reaction, I have had it one time that a blade don't show a reaction. Don't ask me why!? A friend have etched this blade with a other solution and have get reaction.
Use the search function with etch/etching and you will find other recipes also.

Regards,
Detlef

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Old 2nd May 2014, 10:51 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Rick, it sounds like you are talking about Drac2k's kris, not Dave's. Is that correct? Sounds like you are. If so, i don't think anyone is denying that this kris has "appeal" based upon it's age. I agree that it's a really nice item regardless of the exact age. I also agree that many of our assumptions about judging age on these weapons should be challenged. It seems that most of what we tend to think in this regard is all based on one book, Cato. So i think there is always room for questions. I think there are certainly examples of pre-1930s kris that don't have a separate gangya and certainly there are some examples of newer kris that do.
I would still be interested to know if this blade is laminated or mono steel. Drac2k, you don't need to be particularly skilled to do a mild etch on this blade. Vinegar can act as a gentle etching agent, enough at least to show laminations in the blade if they exist. It is also very easy to polish the effect off. Kind of hard to ruin the blade with this method. I still think knowing whether it is laminated or mono steel will go a long way in helping top determine the age of this kris. While i think there are some examples out there of older mono steel pieces, most older kris are laminated and most recent examples tend to be mono steel. Again, if it is indeed mono steel AND has pointy luks it seems a good indication for a later dating.


Yes, I was referring to Drac2K's Kris and his name happens to be Dave as well. I'm pretty confident this blade is laminated. In some of his pictures I can see evidence along the edge that would suggest edge plates and when etched these areas will show a hamon and then maybe he'll have some laminations in the blade core.

Dave, one test that Spunjer uses prior to an etch is simply to run some hot water on the blade for a few minutes and watch closely. He can see the laminations in the blade this way. Of course, as soon as you take away the hot water they go away.

As far as dating this sword, I still remain fairly confident in the provenance provided by the auction house. Pre 1930 based on that.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 12:45 PM   #26
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Thanks for the added tips, especially the one about waiting for the wife to leave before trying the etching .Does it smell badly; maybe I'll buy some candles to hide the after effect.
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Old 2nd May 2014, 04:02 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drac2k
Thanks for the added tips, especially the one about waiting for the wife to leave before trying the etching .Does it smell badly; maybe I'll buy some candles to hide the after effect.


Open all windows, the strong smell will go soon!
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Old 3rd May 2014, 12:25 AM   #28
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When etching make sure that there is a breeze - these chemicals can do lung and organ damage.

And if you take a bath at least once a month, some of the other smells go away too...
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Old 4th May 2014, 04:08 PM   #29
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To provide some more background on the items in the sale. While I am not a specialist in Philippines or Southeast Asian items, I was able to view all of the pieces that went up for sale and know the auctioneer who is also not a specialist in Southeast Asian or Philippines items, or arms and armor in general.

All of the items that came from the collection of William McGinty collection were collected in the late 19th C. - early 20th C. and were packed away in the late 1920s. The auctioneer actually assisted in unpacking the items out of crates that the pieces were kept in for several decades and they were all wrapped in old newspapers dated to the late 1920s-early 1930s.

I leave the discussions of style and form to the specialists but all of the items provenanced to the McGinty collection were collected in the early 20th C. at the latest. That is more than can be said of 99% of the pieces on the market so I hope that it provides some interesting dating material for the specialists on these boards.

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