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Old 28th October 2012, 11:59 AM   #1
Indianajones
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Default Barong beauty

Hi folks, thought to share this beauty barong. What region would it originate from? Any comments are welcome. Technically its not my field of collecting but who wouldnt want to own, handle n cherish it ??

Info on it; Total L. 62 x 15 cm , blade n handle L. 58 x 5.8 cm
Not messed around with, not cleaned (silver ferrule), and surprisingly shiny blade (am sure not been cleaned as well), wonderfull honeydark patinated handle, heavy blade. And in no way will do anything (applying acid etc) to it as examples as this will become more rare in future

Too bad the pics havent turned out so sharp, just seen.

Best, Indiana
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Old 28th October 2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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Hi Wouter,

very nice Barong. Since the blade seems to be polished I personally would etch the blade! When you don't like the result it will be very easy to repolish the blade. etching with vinegar don't go deep, it's just surficial.
Again, a very nice piece and rare with the unbroken sheath.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 28th October 2012, 04:52 PM   #3
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It's always so nice to see such a beautifully patinated and complete example, with the pommel completely intact.

More often than not we are lamenting over an example perfect in every way except for a 'busted' pommel, just like the one that one of these guys is wearing!

Nice find!
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Old 28th October 2012, 04:56 PM   #4
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Yes, a very nice barong. I especially like the hilt carving and the sheath. As far as etching goes, I'm with you as I don't think it a necessary thing to do. I do however love the look of shinny silver.

Regards,
Robert
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Old 28th October 2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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Oh I don't know - I think a good etch would bring out the lamination.

Any way, this is a Sulu region piece. Great to have these pieces intact.
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Old 28th October 2012, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Coleman
Yes, a very nice barong. I especially like the hilt carving and the sheath. As far as etching goes, I'm with you as I don't think it a necessary thing to do. I do however love the look of shinny silver.

I have wondered for some time whether it is truly traditional to etch these blades or not. While it was certainly a tradition for Javanese keris i have seen many old photos of Moro kris and barong that do NOT have an etch or show pattern to the blade. Is this just a collector choice or can someone show us real evidence that this was common with old Moro tradition?
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Old 28th October 2012, 08:43 PM   #7
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Battara; thanks for tributing the piece to the tribe of origin!
Regarding the blade. I was actually quite surprised to see the blade come out so shiny. Initially I also assumed the blade was polished, but seen and knowing the provenance and uncleaned rest of the sword I came to the conclusion it is not tempered/polished with at all. Though I do wonder at the moment if they have added something to the iron that gives the metal such a shiny finish . . . .still after years (no oxidation).

<I tried to make some more pics of the blade and also of the extra shiny spot where the blade touches the wood scabbard (near handle at budendside), but my computer is having some cures at d moment>

Before I have had another barong which was also not tempered with which showed the natural discoloration -faint oval forms in greyish n different hues- showing its 'activities' of different forgemetals. (shown pics before to show Sajen in this forum in a 'to acid or not to acid'-topic). So when there IS layered forging one will see it also without acid-ing (which will just enhance the effect more).

As this piece will be for trade and can always cleaned in a minute -but not reverse- I will leave it this way and even not clean the silver.
>>>>>its all soooo original now !!!!! <<<<<

Charless; have encountered that pic also when searching for a picture of s Sulu sultan wearing the Dress sword (see my other latest thread on pics). But thanks. Will continue my search as one may also search for 'Sulu datu' perhaps.

Thanks all so much for the comments!
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Old 28th October 2012, 11:42 PM   #8
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On the subject of etching, yes Moros did at least initially etch their blades. I have a couple of old pictures of datus with etched dark blades.
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Old 29th October 2012, 12:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
On the subject of etching, yes Moros did at least initially etch their blades. I have a couple of old pictures of datus with etched dark blades.

I am more trying to figure out what the common practice was. I have seen many shots of blade collected in the early 1900s that don't have etched blades. Are you able to post these pics you have Josť?
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Old 29th October 2012, 04:31 AM   #10
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Sure David and here they are, including a Tausug from the 1960s with an darkly etched kris blade (left picture).

Note: these etched blades are darker, especially against the silver baka-baka/asang-asang.
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Last edited by Battara : 29th October 2012 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 29th October 2012, 10:06 AM   #11
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Am able to upload some pics again; one of the blade with an arrow near the 'start' of the blade where the metal seems extra polished (vertical to the blade) by the touching of the scabbard. Hope its somewhat visible.
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Old 29th October 2012, 10:09 PM   #12
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Hello Wouter,

Thanks for posting this barong!

The pommel is really interesting: Is that seperate piece of wood a neatly crafted attempt to fill a natural gap? I have seen smaller repairs to (originally) imperfect bunti wood but never such an extensive one - and still intact!

Seems like the silver(plated?) ferrules were worn through already at a few spots?

Could you please post close-ups of the upper and lower portions of the scabbard (carved side only)?

Wether the blade stayed shiny is probably mainly due to the storage conditions (stable and, especially, dry); also oil/wax or other anti-rust protection added to the blade will have had an influence.

Even if this barung were kept like this without polishing since WW2 or even WW1, it would not be proof that this is the original condition though. I rather doubt that any Tausug would be fond of its current state of preservation and not declare it as "original" for the originating culture...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 30th October 2012, 06:24 PM   #13
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Hi Kai -just a quick reply before dinner is served ;
the wood on the handle has not been 'filled up' as I know what you mean and it may look like it. It is just the natural imperfection of the wood itself.
The silver has just (yellowish) stains on it.

Tha scabbard does however not have much decoration n will have to make some new pics.

Good to hear its been enjoyed; exactly my purpose. 'We are only the temporarely owners of these pieces as they have existed already for many decades in the hands of many others!'
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Old 31st October 2012, 04:31 AM   #14
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The yellowing and black are oxidation - they need to be polished off to bring out the true silver (not silver plate).
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Old 31st October 2012, 08:41 PM   #15
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Just found the pic of the laminated blade of the barong -also in total original unmessed state- I had before. This is what I meant with 'if its forged with lamination one will see it anyway '(without etching).

Because different types of iron (metal) are used there will also develope a different kind and color of oxidation as is so good visible on this pic.
>>> when etching blades which are not forged with such a lamination there will never occur such a strong visible feature.
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Old 31st October 2012, 09:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indianajones
Just found the pic of the laminated blade of the barong -also in total original unmessed state- I had before. This is what I meant with 'if its forged with lamination one will see it anyway '(without etching).

Because different types of iron (metal) are used there will also develope a different kind and color of oxidation as is so good visible on this pic.
>>> when etching blades which are not forged with such a lamination there will never occur such a strong visible feature.



Hello Wouter,

I am sure that this blade was etched at one time of his history.

Regards,

Detlef
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