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Old 10th January 2009, 10:18 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default A Sikin Panjang...or not???

This is a recent acquistion for me and rather an oddball. At first glance it appears to be a N. Sumatran sikin panjang with a variant hilt that seems to combine two hulu styles. However, based on the very precise definition and description of a sikin panjang by Zonneveld this sword would not technically classify as one because of its blade.

The blade has an almost yataghan form with a scabbard clearly made for it. The sword fits oddly into the scabbard at the top, but patina indicates it has fit in that position for a very long time, and again, the scabbard is clearly made for the down curving blade.

Is there a more precise terminology for this sword???

Also, can anyone translate the inscription on the back of the scabbard?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 11th January 2009, 01:34 AM   #2
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Nice blade - sorry, but I don't know anything about them.
I was looking at how the blade seats in scabbard and thought you might try to see if something got wedged down into the tip of the scabbard (run some sturdy copper wire down as a probe or similar). I've also had good luck with applying gentle torque in different directions when sheathing to find the true fit (warpage issues).
hope it helps
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Old 11th January 2009, 02:22 AM   #3
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Nice puppy Charles and an interesting variation on the sikim theme, especially the ivory hilt and the scabbard throat. Is the ferrule silver?
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Old 11th January 2009, 11:22 AM   #4
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A very interesting and unique sikin - congratulations Charles!
I am amazed of all multicultural blades you always find.
To me it has several features of an Aceh variation of the Tumbok Lada (enclosed a reference picture).
Aceh did have a lot of contact with Turkey but I don't know anything about yataghans myself to comment the resemblence.
On the hilt it looks like the regular hulu tumpang beunteung to me?
I haven't seen an ivory hilt on a sikin before.

Michael
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Old 11th January 2009, 03:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input.

Battara...regarding the metal rings, I believe the widest one is swassa(maybe heavy with copper), and the narrow "crown" is a low grade of gold. Neither was tarnished when purchased, and had bot been polished.

VVV...regarding the hilt form, it seemed to me that the extensions were not long enough or didn't both have the bulbous tip to be a hulu tumpang exclusively, so I though perhaps it was a variant of the hulu tumpang and hulu rumpung. Perhaps you can see what I am saying if you combine the two in your imagination. But, you may very well be right and this may just be a slight variant on the hulu tumpang.
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Old 11th January 2009, 07:24 PM   #6
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Very nice sikin.

My guess is hulu tumpang but limited due to the material. So only a practical variation on the theme.

Most ivory I have seen on sikins (mainly on photo's to be honest) is with hulu rumpang. My guess still is that this is because otherwise you need a really big piece of ivory.

Anyway real nice piece, Erik


Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Thanks for the input.

Battara...regarding the metal rings, I believe the widest one is swassa(maybe heavy with copper), and the narrow "crown" is a low grade of gold. Neither was tarnished when purchased, and had bot been polished.

VVV...regarding the hilt form, it seemed to me that the extensions were not long enough or didn't both have the bulbous tip to be a hulu tumpang exclusively, so I though perhaps it was a variant of the hulu tumpang and hulu rumpung. Perhaps you can see what I am saying if you combine the two in your imagination. But, you may very well be right and this may just be a slight variant on the hulu tumpang.
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Old 11th January 2009, 09:02 PM   #7
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Good point Erik.
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Old 11th January 2009, 10:51 PM   #8
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Really great piece.

I have never seen something like it before.

Congrats !
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Old 4th February 2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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Smile BUMP / Jawi translation requested

I came across this absolutely stunning piece and noticed that no-one ever checked the inscription.

At the risk of being impolite I would like to ask if Dom or Mohd or any of the other forumites with knowledge of these inscriptions can take a look

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 5th February 2013, 01:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
At the risk of being impolite I would like to ask if Dom or Mohd or any of the other forumites with knowledge of these inscriptions can take a look
Willem
when, it's nicely requested, I can't refuse ... BUT ... it's not Arabic
it's Jawi language, using an Arabic alphabet for writing the Malay language;
- Acehnese,
- Banjarese,
- Minangkabau,
- Tausug and
- several other languages in Southeast Asia.

we may read ... only a single word "ALLAH" either "GOD" ... no more

+

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Old 5th February 2013, 01:14 AM   #11
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IF MARINE IVORY WAS USED (SPERM WHALE TOOTH) THE SIZE WOULD BE LIMITED FOR CARVING A HANDLE. THE SOLID TIP OF THE TOOTH WOULD GO TOWARD THE BLADE AND THE WIDER HOLLOW ROOT AREA OF THE TOOTH TO THE POMEL. IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE OF THE NATURAL HOLLOW FOUND IN WHALE TEETH ON THE HANDLE? AT ANY RATE I LIKE IT OF COURSE I ALWAYS LIKE THE ATYPICAL AND UNUSUAL IN WEAPONS.
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Old 5th February 2013, 06:33 AM   #12
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Vandoo, I have seen a few surprisingly large sperm whale teeth. Like really large - we're talking maybe 18-19 cm instead of the usual 12-13 and a proportionate increase in mass and girth to go with. They were shown to me by the Mammal Dept. curator at the Zoological Museum of Copenhagen, which holds a really large collection of cetacean material. At the time these teeth totally blew open my frame of reference for the size of these guys. The largest tooth was very old and had a rather worn down tip, so must have been even larger when alive. That whale would have had to be a leviathan for sure.

I totally agree with you that it's a possibility here and your proposed orientation is spot on - sperm whale teeth have a relatively shallow root canal and the ivory is really dense, so I think it would make the perfect sword hilt and this one certainly has the shape. Like you, I would also love to see a pommel-end shot - perhaps the canal is still evident.

Willem, this is an awesome find from the archives!! Never have seen a sikin like it before - I hope that Charles is still enjoying it!


Cordially, - Thor
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Old 5th February 2013, 08:29 AM   #13
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beautiful sword. much pointier than normal.
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Old 5th February 2013, 09:11 AM   #14
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Thanks Charles!

I do remember this thread but have no idea why I didn't commented earlier.

How long is the blade (without the integral bolster)?


Quote:
I was looking at how the blade seats in scabbard and thought you might try to see if something got wedged down into the tip of the scabbard (run some sturdy copper wire down as a probe or similar). I've also had good luck with applying gentle torque in different directions when sheathing to find the true fit (warpage issues).

I'd be weary - antique Aceh scabbards can break easily. I believe shrinkage of the wood may be causing the (non-)issue.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 7th February 2013, 12:29 PM   #15
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I found the picture I took of aforementioned tooth in my office archives. Turns out it's even larger than I remembered - as you can see it clocks in at a whopping 25 cm! That's more than twice the size of the avarage. Note the tip wear.

The Zoological Museum of Copenhagen have other sperm whale teeth, which are also to be considered gigantic, but this one takes the prize! Given that the Museum has one of the world's very largest colelctions of cetacean material, there's reason to think that there aren't a lot of competitors around.

As can be seen from the low collection no., the tooth was probably included in the earliy years of the history of the Museum, which goes back to the beginning of the 1600's.


Hope you enjoy it, - Thor


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Old 8th July 2019, 12:02 PM   #16
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Charles,

Did you ever get a translation of the scabbard inscription ?

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 8th July 2019, 07:56 PM   #17
CharlesS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Charles,

Did you ever get a translation of the scabbard inscription ?

Best regards,
Willem


No Willem. Perhaps resurrecting this old thread will help!
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Old 21st July 2019, 09:45 AM   #18
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A friend of mine has had a look at the inscription; it it evidently, at least in part, an attempt at an ownership inscription; she reports as follows:

This is so poorly written it is almost undecipherable:

Allah [or: inilah]

s-k-w t-w w l-a d-y-r

p-n-g-j t-ng-k-w y-w

[k-a]-d-y-n

Inilah (this is)
Teuku ... Kadir
... Teungku Yu....
.....
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