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Old 31st December 2016, 12:12 PM   #1
F. de Luzon
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Default F. de Luzon's Moro Kris Collection

Hello everyone! I am new to this forum and I am sharing pictures of the best of my Moro kris/kalis collection. Please feel free to make comments.

I started my collection only recently so I'm not an expert but I've learned a lot reading discussions on this forum.

I would greatly appreciate any information you can tell me about these swords. I also hope you will enjoy viewing my modest collection.

F. de Luzon
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Old 31st December 2016, 08:25 PM   #2
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Well, i will just say that you seem to have gotten off to a magnificent start for a Moro kris collection. These all seem to be pretty good examples a few various styles. I especially like the second one down.
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Old 1st January 2017, 12:17 AM   #3
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Thank you David! I spent many hours reading about the Moro kris on the internet and primarily in this forum. I learned from the "triumphs," mistakes, and most specially, the insights of members of this group. In light of your positive comment, I am proud to say that I was educated on the vikingsword.com Ethnographic Weapons Forum! :-)

I know that the examples in my collection are not perfect but these are the best that I could find. What follows is a description of each blade.

#1 The first one is a heavy laminated half wavy blade with a separate gangya, single brass stirrup, jungayan hilt and ivory kakatua pommel. The scabbard is made of wood with three bands of white brass. The blade shows signs of decorative/talismanic etching which has seriously deteriorated (almost completely erased) due to rust and pitting.

#2 The second is a straight blade (not etched) kris with a separate gangya, single stirrup, corded hilt with a silver end ring and kakatua pommel. The scabbard is made of wood with three bands of white brass decorated with okir.

#3 The third is a 13 luk laminated blade with separate gangya, two brass stirrups, a silver hilt and banati wood octagonal horse hoof pommel. On the scabbard: the wrangka is inlaid tortoise shell, the middle section wrapped with vine (nito vine?) and the buntut is also inlaid tortoise shell.

#4 The fourth is a 17 luk laminated kris with separate gangya and brass stirrups. The hilt is corded and the kakatua pommel is possibly made of rhinoceros horn (according to the ebay dealer and yet to be verified).

Happy New Year!


F. de Luzon

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Old 1st January 2017, 02:04 AM   #4
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Here are bigger pictures.
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Last edited by F. de Luzon : 1st January 2017 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 1st January 2017, 04:05 AM   #5
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Excellent examples. A++. Unfortunately, even average moro pieces, in the not too distant future might be hard to find...........Dave.
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Old 1st January 2017, 04:48 AM   #6
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4 NICE KRIS ALL KEEPERS IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE OFF TO A GOOD START. MY FAVORITES ARE #2 BECAUSE OF THE FINE WORKMANSHIP ON THE BLADE AND #3. I LIKE THE INLAY WORK AND THE ANTING ANTING CLOTH ON THE SCABBARD. CLOSE UPS OF THE METAL WORK ON #2 AND THE INLAY AT THE TOP AND TIP OF THE SCABBARD ON #3 WOULD BE COOL. MOST LIKELY THE HORN USED ON THE POMMEL OF #4 IS WATER BUFFALO BUT YOU CAN NEVER TELL PERHAPS A GOOD WELL LIGHTED CLOSE- UP OF THAT MAY HELP FIND AN ANSWER. A NICE COLLECTION KEEP IT UP.
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Old 1st January 2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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Thank you for your comments, DaveS and VANDOO!
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Old 1st January 2017, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
4 NICE KRIS ALL KEEPERS IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE OFF TO A GOOD START. MY FAVORITES ARE #2 BECAUSE OF THE FINE WORKMANSHIP ON THE BLADE AND #3. I LIKE THE INLAY WORK AND THE ANTING ANTING CLOTH ON THE SCABBARD. CLOSE UPS OF THE METAL WORK ON #2 AND THE INLAY AT THE TOP AND TIP OF THE SCABBARD ON #3 WOULD BE COOL. MOST LIKELY THE HORN USED ON THE POMMEL OF #4 IS WATER BUFFALO BUT YOU CAN NEVER TELL PERHAPS A GOOD WELL LIGHTED CLOSE- UP OF THAT MAY HELP FIND AN ANSWER. A NICE COLLECTION KEEP IT UP.



VANDOO, here are the close-ups of the metal work on #2, inlay on the top and tip of the scabbard of #3 and the pommel of #4. Thanks!
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Old 1st January 2017, 10:13 AM   #9
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Hello F. de Luzon,

nice pieces! I like special the second blade, very nice piece. I think that the scabbards from the first and second piece are recent but nothing wrong by this. Like Barry (Vandoo) I doubt that the inlays at the scabbard by the third kris from tortoise shell, I think they are from thin carved buffalo horn. What do you mean with "nito vine"? I would call it rattan. And I also doubt that the pommel from the last piece is from rhino horn, most probable again buffalo horn. Can you post close ups from this pommel?

Also to you a Happy New Year!

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 1st January 2017, 03:21 PM   #10
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Thank you Detlef! I bought the first three from the same antique dealer and I was told that the blades are pre-1930s but the scabbards are from the 1950s.

The scabbard with inlay (#3) is said to be distinct to the Tausug of Sulu. I was told that it is made of tortoise shell but I can see that carabao horn is also a probability. A portion of the center of the back of the wrangka was chipped and lifted when I bought it, so I repaired it using a knife and sandpaper. I noticed that the material is layered and fibrous. Although I am not an expert, the shavings/chips did not feel like horn which makes tortoise shell a probability. I will post detailed close-ups and I hope you can help me identify the material. I might eventually approach an expert to examine and determine the material scientifically.

Nito is a vine found in the hinterlands of Mindanao, Philippines which is used for handicrafts. I brought the scabbard to a nito handicrafts manufacturer but upon comparing, it turned out to be a finer material than the kind of nito they are using. The manufacturer could not identify it and said that it could be a variety endemic to the island of Sulu.

Regarding the pommel of #4, again carabao horn is a probability. I will post close-ups from various angles and again, I hope you can help me identify the material.

All the best,

F. de Luzon
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Old 1st January 2017, 03:33 PM   #11
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Default Close ups #1

Close up of details of #1

Jungayan hilt
Ivory pommel
faded etching
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Old 1st January 2017, 03:36 PM   #12
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Default Close ups #2

Close up of details of #2:

Metal Work, hilt and pommel.
Pommel details. Is it wood?
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Old 1st January 2017, 03:38 PM   #13
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Default Close ups #3

Close up of details of #3:

Wrangka, inlaid front and plain back

Buntut, inlaid front and plain back
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Old 1st January 2017, 03:42 PM   #14
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Default Close ups #4

Close up of details of #4:

Pommel from various angles. What kind of horn is it?
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Old 1st January 2017, 05:08 PM   #15
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Very nice presentation, F! Please also add putatively "lesser" pieces as often enough much can be learned from those, too.

Those 4 examples all look like good, antique blades to me - congrats! Did you source all from within the PI? (All 3 scabbards appear to be post-WW2, with the first 2 of quite recent manufacture as suggested by the other forumites already.)

I'm with Detlef that the hilt #4 is from water buffalo as well as probably the scabbard #3 (the metal on the latter is aluminium, I assume?).

Could you please post close-ups of the base of the blade (and pommel, too)?
I'd suggest discussing each of these pieces in dedicated threads for in-depth analysis - otherwise it will get confusing in no time...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st January 2017, 05:28 PM   #16
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Agree with Kai, nice presentation!

Both, the inlays and also the pommel are definitive from water buffalo horn IMVHO.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 1st January 2017, 05:32 PM   #17
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KRIS #4 POMMEL IS DEFINITELY NOT RHINO HORN WHICH IS GOOD AS CUSTOMS WILL NOT BOTHER YOU. THE LAYERS YOU SEE IS WHAT IS FOUND IN CARABO AKA WATER BUFFALO HORN. THIS LOOKS LIKE AN OLDER PIECE DUE TO THE WEAR AND CRACKS. THERE IS A GOOD POST IN THE FORUM WITH PICTURES THAT CAN HELP YOU LEARN TO SPOT RHINO HORN. BUT ALL RHINO AND OTHER MATERIALS CAN VARY IT IS SOMETIMES DIFFICULT EVEN THEN. I REALLY CAN'T TELL ON THE INLAYED PIECES ON THE SCABBARD SOME SEA TURTLE SHELL CAN LOOK LIKE THAT IF IT IS OLD THICK AND UNPOLISHED BUT SO CAN A THIN SLICE OF HORN. THE INLAY IS INTERESTING USING MOTHER OF PEARL, HORN AND SOME RED AND BLUE SUBSTANCE. LIKELY THE SCABBARD WAS DONE AROUND WW2. SOME OF THE MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE PHILIPPINE COLLECTORS WILL LIKELY BE ABLE TO GIVE YOU MORE INFORMATION.
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Old 1st January 2017, 06:01 PM   #18
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Thanks for posting the additional pics! (I was slow with my reply... )

Quote:
Close up of details of #3:
Wrangka, inlaid front and plain back
Buntut, inlaid front and plain back

The plain backsides do look carabao to me. The front sides don't come out very well but are mottled and seem to have a different surface structure: could be tortoise, indeed.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st January 2017, 06:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
SOME RED AND BLUE SUBSTANCE.

Hard plastic? Or more like glass?
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Old 1st January 2017, 06:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
The front sides don't come out very well but are mottled and seem to have a different surface structure: could be tortoise, indeed.


Hi Kai,

would be the first time that I see tortoise on such a scabbard, do you have an example you can show?

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 1st January 2017, 07:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
The plain backsides do look carabao to me. The front sides don't come out very well but are mottled and seem to have a different surface structure: could be tortoise, indeed.


Most if not all of the mottled look to the carabao horn on the front of the scabbard is delamination (separation of the layers in the horn) that was most likely caused by the heat created when the holes were first drilled into it. If enough heat is generated from the use of dull drilling tools this damage can be seen when first done or not until years later when drying and shrinkage from age can affect the horn and put extra stress on the material at these points. Impact from other objects can cause this as well. JMHO.

Best,
Robert
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Old 1st January 2017, 09:57 PM   #22
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Congratulations on your new collection!

Kris 1:
Looks to me to be a crossover Maguindanao/Sulu blade with a recent clamp. I also think the hilt is much later, made of gold plated brass filigree. But the ivory pommel looks to me to be a later carving style and the patina might be artificially done to make it look older (an old Filipino/Moro trick for quicker sales). Blade might be turn of 20th century. This type of hilt is for datus and other nobility.

The scabbard is new and Sulu.

Kris 2:
This is truly nice - a great and fantastic Maranao blade! The pommel is nice burled and patina narra wood. I find this the best of the 3. Maybe for a high ranking warrior but not a datu?

The scabbard is recent, but truly Maranao in okir and wranga (top of scabbard) style.

Kris 3:
This kris seems to have an early 20th century crossover Sulu blade. The pommel may be the same time period, though I often see these on 1950s pieces. Not sure if the hilt rings are silver or silver plate over copper (they are newer and I have seen plated copper before).

The scabbard is recent Sulu with aluminum accents through out the scabbard (plates and pins), and sections of mother-of-pearl, and colored bone inside plates of carabao horn. The wrappings are rattan.

Kris 4:
This kris appears to be from the end of the 19th to the turn of the 20th century. The blade is Maranao but the clamps seem Sulu-ish to me. The pommel style is danganan and is somewhat rare, being made of solid horn. For a high ranking warrior or a low ranking datu? Good to have the hemp wrap complete with only some of the lacquer worn off. Too bad the pommel "tail" is broken off.

All of these kris could use some acid etching to bring out the different laminations in the blades, which they did.

I hope these answer some of your questions. You are off to a good start!
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Old 3rd January 2017, 12:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Very nice presentation, F! Please also add putatively "lesser" pieces as often enough much can be learned from those, too.

Those 4 examples all look like good, antique blades to me - congrats! Did you source all from within the PI? (All 3 scabbards appear to be post-WW2, with the first 2 of quite recent manufacture as suggested by the other forumites already.)

I'm with Detlef that the hilt #4 is from water buffalo as well as probably the scabbard #3 (the metal on the latter is aluminium, I assume?).

Could you please post close-ups of the base of the blade (and pommel, too)?
I'd suggest discussing each of these pieces in dedicated threads for in-depth analysis - otherwise it will get confusing in no time...

Regards,
Kai



Thanks Kai! Yes, I found the first three in Manila but it wasn't easy. Here's the additional closeups you requested. :-)
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Old 3rd January 2017, 12:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hi Kai,

would be the first time that I see tortoise on such a scabbard, do you have an example you can show?

Best regards,
Detlef



Hi Detlef,

Thank you! Here are some samples of krises with sea turtle shell (as far as I was told) on the scabbard and pommel. I saw them as I was "hunting" for pieces for my collection.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 12:48 AM   #25
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Thanks Kai, Detlef, Vandoo, Robert and Battara for your insights! I'm developing an even greater appreciation of these swords because of your comments. Much appreciated!
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Old 4th January 2017, 03:59 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Congratulations on your new collection!

Kris 1:
Looks to me to be a crossover Maguindanao/Sulu blade with a recent clamp. I also think the hilt is much later, made of gold plated brass filigree. But the ivory pommel looks to me to be a later carving style and the patina might be artificially done to make it look older (an old Filipino/Moro trick for quicker sales). Blade might be turn of 20th century. This type of hilt is for datus and other nobility.

The scabbard is new and Sulu.

Kris 2:
This is truly nice - a great and fantastic Maranao blade! The pommel is nice burled and patina narra wood. I find this the best of the 3. Maybe for a high ranking warrior but not a datu?

The scabbard is recent, but truly Maranao in okir and wranga (top of scabbard) style.

Kris 3:
This kris seems to have an early 20th century crossover Sulu blade. The pommel may be the same time period, though I often see these on 1950s pieces. Not sure if the hilt rings are silver or silver plate over copper (they are newer and I have seen plated copper before).

The scabbard is recent Sulu with aluminum accents through out the scabbard (plates and pins), and sections of mother-of-pearl, and colored bone inside plates of carabao horn. The wrappings are rattan.

Kris 4:
This kris appears to be from the end of the 19th to the turn of the 20th century. The blade is Maranao but the clamps seem Sulu-ish to me. The pommel style is danganan and is somewhat rare, being made of solid horn. For a high ranking warrior or a low ranking datu? Good to have the hemp wrap complete with only some of the lacquer worn off. Too bad the pommel "tail" is broken off.

All of these kris could use some acid etching to bring out the different laminations in the blades, which they did.

I hope these answer some of your questions. You are off to a good start!



Thanks for the thorough discussion and the encouragement, Battara!
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Old 6th January 2017, 05:13 AM   #27
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I think we go to the same places as I live in Manila and frequent the antique shops there as well as a few in Quezon City. Very nice examples too. I echo Battara. I have very very similar kris (one of yours is likely the sister of mine). Please do try to etch them if you're willing. The beauty in their blades really pop out when etched!
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Old 6th January 2017, 09:33 AM   #28
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I finally finished cleaning and etching the latest addition to my collection. I will start a new thread about it and add more pictures, to make things less complicated. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=22242
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Old 6th January 2017, 11:28 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croccifixio
I think we go to the same places as I live in Manila and frequent the antique shops there as well as a few in Quezon City. Very nice examples too. I echo Battara. I have very very similar kris (one of yours is likely the sister of mine). Please do try to etch them if you're willing. The beauty in their blades really pop out when etched!


Hi Croccifixio! Yes, we might bump into each other in Manila or QC one day. There are so few places to find krises in MM and I agree that we likely go to the same shops.

I've started etching. I saw your thread and I'm following your lead. Yours turned out nicely!

It's always nice to meet a fellow enthusiast, albeit online.

Warm regards,

F. de Luzon
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Old 7th January 2017, 01:11 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F. de Luzon
Hi Detlef,

Thank you! Here are some samples of krises with sea turtle shell (as far as I was told) on the scabbard and pommel. I saw them as I was "hunting" for pieces for my collection.


Hi F. de Luzon,

yes agree, the plate on the small picture seems to be indeed from turtle shell. The other picture isn't clear enough to build me an opinion.

Regards,
Detlef
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