Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 18th January 2017, 03:41 PM   #1
Marcus
Member
 
Marcus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 420
Default Philippine or Confederate?

I bought this sword from Ian through our swap forum. His identification was as follows:

" This is a dahong palay, so named because the shape of the blade resembles either a rice leaf or a venomous snake of the same name. This is usually a Tagalog (central Luzon) blade form but here it is in Ilocano dress as shown by the brass cross guard and integral ferrule, while the bent tang and shape of the "horse hoof" pommel are consistent with older Ilocano work.

The heavy blade has obvious lamination and appears to have a hardened edge. The blade has been fitted to the hilt perfectly.

Dimensions:
OAL.......... 24 5/8 in
Blade........ 18 3/8 in
Hilt........... 6 1/4 in
Thickness of blade at forte.... 5/16 in
A couple of very small minor areas of damage to the horn hilt. Scratched on the hilt is the name "John Ikaver 1861." The initials "F.S." are incised deeply at forte."

Something that Ian missed is that also scratched on the hilt is “9th Virginia Regt.” (or it could be a crossed 7). Also, I read the name as "John Q. Leaper”.

Once I pointed out the second inscription, based on his identification of the piece as a dahong palay, Ian suggested an association with the US 9th Infantry regiment that fought in the Philippine war. A couple of points challenge that interpretation. The problem is there is no clear connection between "Virginia" and the 9th Regiment that fought in the Philippines. There was a 9th Virginia Regt. in the Continental army. It was formed prior to the Revolution but it was disbanded on November 15, 1783. There was also a 9th Virginia Regt. in the Army of the Confederacy, and that unit was formed in July of 1861, consistent with the date. Incidentally, there was also a 7th Virginia Regt. in the Army of the Confederacy, which was formed in May of 1861.
In any case, by the time of the Philippine war, it was no longer customary to identify US military units with specific states, unless they were volunteer units recruited for specific conflicts, such as the Spanish American War. Furthermore, the US 9th infantry regiment that fought in the Philippines was first formed in Maryland, not Virginia.
All of the above considerations leave me with a sword identified as Philippine, likely from circa 1900. Without the inscriptions one could imagine that came to the US as a trophy or souvenir from the Philippines.
However, what if the inscriptions on the hilt are credible? Is it plausible that this is not from the Philippines at all and really was made by a Virginia blacksmith (F.S.) in 1861?
Attached Images
           
Marcus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2017, 05:43 PM   #2
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,647
Default

The horse hoof horn pommel and the ferrule/guard are pure Filipino.
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2017, 05:58 PM   #3
Oliver Pinchot
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 320
Default

Forgive me for stating the obvious:
Somewhere in its recent history, someone scratched the inscription into
the grip in order to pass it off as a Confederate sidearm.
Oliver Pinchot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2017, 06:30 PM   #4
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,165
Exclamation

Hello Marcus,

Quote:
Something that Ian missed is that also scratched on the hilt is “9th Virginia Regt.” (or it could be a crossed 7). Also, I read the name as "John Q. Leaper”.
<snip>
However, what if the inscriptions on the hilt are credible? Is it plausible that this is not from the Philippines at all and really was made by a Virginia blacksmith (F.S.) in 1861?

While the year might be explained away by regarding it as a birthdate or some other memento, you seem to be correct, that the inscription doesn't make any sense if placed in the period of US colonial presence in the Philippines.

However, I agree with Ian that this certainly is a Filipino dahong palay. The scratched inscription may point to the US civil war but I doubt that this sloppy inscription would have been put on a good short sword in those times.

AFAIK, quite a few Filipino blades have been offered in the US market as genuine civil war artefacts to solicit a much higher selling price; I believe the most likely explanation for this enigma is that someone wanted to bolster the civil war attribution and added a fake inscription...

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2017, 06:37 PM   #5
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,165
Thumbs up

Quote:
Forgive me for stating the obvious:
Somewhere in its recent history, someone scratched the inscription into
the grip in order to pass it off as a Confederate sidearm.

I'm with you, Oliver! I did not saw that you already answered since I got sidetracked and took a while to complete my post...

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2017, 08:37 PM   #6
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,964
Default

I'm in agreement so far 👍
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th January 2017, 08:45 PM   #7
Marcus
Member
 
Marcus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 420
Default

They might have done better if they had etched "9th Manchu Regt." and made the date 1901 instead of 1861, then they could have tried to pass it off as associated with in the massacre of Balangiga in Samal, September 28 1901.
Marcus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th January 2017, 10:31 AM   #8
Oliver Pinchot
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 320
Default

They would have done best to leave it alone
Oliver Pinchot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th January 2017, 03:26 PM   #9
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
Posts: 5,626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Pinchot
They would have done best to leave it alone

Absolutely. I am afraid i have to concur with Oliver that these markings were somebody's lame attempt to try to pass this off as a Civil War weapon. It is clearly a Philippines blade. If the inscription was shallow enough i would even consider buffing it off, but it probably runs to deep for that. A beautiful knife regardless.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th January 2017, 08:45 PM   #10
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 6,438
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
It is clearly a Philippines blade. If the inscription was shallow enough i would even consider buffing it off, but it probably runs to deep for that. A beautiful knife regardless.


Agree with you David! I also would try to buffing it off.

Regards,
Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th January 2017, 09:39 PM   #11
Marcus
Member
 
Marcus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 420
Default

I would not dream of buffing it out. Its story is its story.
Marcus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th January 2017, 10:18 PM   #12
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
Posts: 5,626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus
I would not dream of buffing it out. Its story is its story.

Well, i believe it is its outright "lie" more than its "story" Marcus. IMHO it is more like ugly graffiti on a beautiful building. To conserve the building i would remove the graffiti if possible and return it to its original and intended condition. What's more, it's grafiti meant to deceive. The only "story" this tells is that someone in contemporary times saw fit to deface this hilt in an attempt to defraud the public. This is not a part of this knife ethnographic history though. History perhaps, but not one i see any reason to preserve. It is wholly unrelated to its life and use in its cultural environment. So if it were mine and if the inscription was shallow enough to buff out without removing an obvious amount of material from the hilt i would not hesitate to do so. Of course it is not mine and the damage may be to great to repair. But we each have to do what we see as right for our own collections. I was not suggesting that you need to do what i suggest, only saying what i would do if it were mine and possible.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19th January 2017, 11:46 PM   #13
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,771
Default

Actually I see both sides of the 'story'. As a historian, I see weapons as a kind of montage of distinguishing features and elements which represent the entire working life of the piece. In many respects, its disposition after being removed from its working life, whatever the case, sometimes presents interesting subsequent history in who might have held it as either trophy or collected.

I entirely see what David is saying though, in that this seems more a case of deliberate defacing of an otherwise extremely attractive sword in the too often seen deception of 'innovative' sellers. The often crude and ersatz character of Confederate weaponry has encouraged all manner of contrivances labelling many types of unusual arms as 'Confederate'.

Sometimes these ploys are almost bizarre, as in this case. We can think of any number of tenuous speculations as to how a Filipino sword might have fallen into Confederate hands but even as a novelty, why would someone insist on placing their name and unit info on the weapon. One of the most typical aspects of actual Confederate arms as I have often read, is that there are seldom such unit or personal data emplaced on them. Obviously there are exceptions, but few.

I think David is right, and this defacing should be removed if possible without causing further damage. If these persons trying to create deceptive historical identity for weapons were only intelligent or skilled enough to at least KNOW something of the history they are trying to allude to, they might be more of a threat.....instead they are just vandals.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2017, 12:37 AM   #14
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
Posts: 5,626
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
If these persons trying to create deceptive historical identity for weapons were only intelligent or skilled enough to at least KNOW something of the history they are trying to allude to, they might be more of a threat.....instead they are just vandals.

That sir, is an insult to the Vandals!
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2017, 01:50 AM   #15
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,771
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
That sir, is an insult to the Vandals!



LOL!! Good point, the Vandals got a bad rap with their name becoming synonymous with these expletive people.


BTW, does anyone know what these large initials F.S. stand for? It seems like it might have been for one of the insurrection groups or of that ilk.
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2017, 04:16 AM   #16
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,964
Default

Could it stand for Freuden Schilds, one of the early Vandals?
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2017, 04:57 AM   #17
Robert
EAAF Staff
 
Robert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Centerville, Kansas
Posts: 2,136
Default

Unfortunately I have seen far too many Philippine edged weapons that have been altered in this manner with monetary gain the vandals [not the term I would normally use] only concern. It is my opinion that the information scratched into the hilt is not only misleading but a distracting eyesore that should be completely removed from this otherwise very attractive sword. From what I can tell by looking at the photos, if done carefully this should be fairly easy to accomplish without causing any excess lose or further damage to the horn hilt.
The initials I believe are most likely those of the maker.

Best,
Robert
Robert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20th January 2017, 05:40 PM   #18
Jim McDougall
Research Consultant
 
Jim McDougall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Posts: 6,771
Default

I think quite likely as Robert suggests, these initials are for the maker as I have seen the same application at the same location on the blade on some espada ancha. The connections between colonial New Spain in the Americas, Cuba and Mexico with the Philippines being the far western segment of the Spanish Main relayed these influences notably.

It is always interesting to see the subtle similarities in some Philippine weapons to these Spanish colonial weapons of the Americas.
Attached Images
 
Jim McDougall is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:48 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.