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Old 2nd September 2016, 10:20 PM   #1
bathala
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Default Iron hide! One of a kind iron/ steel moro armor!

Ok guys wanred to share my newest aquisition to you! A full steel/iron moro armor! First time I've ever seen or heard one ever existed! Too bad it has been clean loosing the patina but impressive non the less. Weighs at 26.7 lbs. Have any of you guys come upon or heard of similar armor existing? Anyway thank you in advance for you opinions and enjoy! Ps underneath the upper shoulder plate I saw the original darkish rust patina I olso fold traces of carbon powder? Old casting?
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Old 2nd September 2016, 11:54 PM   #2
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Default Thanks for sharing the pics

Very interesting and thanks for sharing these pictures.

As you say, the armor has been thoroughly cleaned but shows relatively little pitting or damage from rust over the years. Unusually pristine and complete. How old do you think it may be?

Must have been quite burdensome to fight in at that weight.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 12:57 AM   #3
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I wonder if it might not be white brass rather than steel.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 03:36 AM   #4
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I'm thinking early 20th century. I'm thinking it's has been kept well away from the elements thus the minimal pittings. Forgot to show the front so here it is. As being wHite brass possible but the plates rust, so do some of the ring. I really am not 100% sure of the composition of the metAL but looks steel to me.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 10:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bathala
Ok guys wanred to share my newest aquisition to you! A full steel/iron moro armor! First time I've ever seen or heard one ever existed! Too bad it has been clean loosing the patina but impressive non the less. Weighs at 26.7 lbs. Have any of you guys come upon or heard of similar armor existing? Anyway thank you in advance for you opinions and enjoy! Ps underneath the upper shoulder plate I saw the original darkish rust patina I olso fold traces of carbon powder? Old casting?
I think this was recently made, the Philippines is a very humid collection of Islands and just like Japan were they had to lacquer their armor to keep it from rusting away, there is a reason that Moro armor was made from horn and brass, to keep it from rusting away as well. I do not see any corrosion at all. I would not mind being proved wrong but even the seller does not describe it as being an antique. I have many images of these armors on my Pinterest site but none like this one. https://www.pinterest.com/worldanti...nd-surrounding/

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Old Philippine Moro Heavy Chain Mail & Metal Plate Filipino Armor Philippines. vintage Philippine Moro Chain Mail Vest with Metal armour plates. As far as history I picked up this piece some years back at a local Southern California auction.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 11:53 AM   #6
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estrch:

I am inclined to agree with your age assessment. The holes in the iron plates through which the chain mail is attached show no irregularity in shape as one would expect from corrosion over time--the holes are crisp circles. Also, the mail rings are remarkably uniform and free from corrosion. All this suggests recent manufacture to me.

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Originally Posted by estcrh
I think this was recently made, the Philippines is a very humid collection of Islands and just like Japan were they had to lacquer their armor to keep it from rusting away, there is a reason that Moro armor was made from horn and brass, to keep it from rusting away as well. I do not see any corrosion at all. I would not mind being proved wrong but even the seller does not describe it as being an antique. I have many images of these armors on my Pinterest site but none like this one. https://www.pinterest.com/worldanti...nd-surrounding/
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Old 3rd September 2016, 01:57 PM   #7
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Is it possible that this is an authentic piece that has been heavily cleaned ? I did notice that although the plates are rust free, there is evidence of substantial pitting in places.The brass or copper ornamentation is dual shaded.I have seen heavy chemical cleaning have this same effect on these metals.
I would also assume that if one wanted to create a forgery, it would be easier to bend brass rings rather than steel .
I do acknowledge that making forgeries of Moro armor would certainly be tempting as they are very desirable and can go for hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 02:15 PM   #8
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This is an intriguing example I came across some months ago, but Moro not being my an area of particular expertise I wasn't sure if it was truly Moro or not, especially with the iron construction.
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Old 4th September 2016, 02:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArmsAndAntiques
This is an intriguing example I came across some months ago, but Moro not being my an area of particular expertise I wasn't sure if it was truly Moro or not, especially with the iron construction.
A very interesting, non conforming armor, I have never seen a Moro armor with buckles and inscriptions like that, it shows real wear and age in my opinion. Possible a neighboring Muslim country like Indonesia, Malaysia etc.
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Old 6th September 2016, 10:32 PM   #10
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Default observations beg more questions

Looking at Bathala's Moro cuirass again, I'm wondering why some of the plates do look pristine whereas others are visibly pitted. And the pitting not consistent with corrosion, but rather impact-caused, with so many round dimples reminiscent of what a person could inflict using a ball peen hammer with blows of varying intensity. Çan't help but notice, also, that those chain-mail rings look like they were made of machine-drawn wire, way too "industrial" in appearance, and free of wear or any past corrosion. Isn't this a bit incongruous for an ethnographic object made by hand with rudimentary tools, in a damp tropical milieu in which ferrous alloys corrode readily over time?
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Old 7th September 2016, 08:52 AM   #11
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...and they appear to be butted rings.

biting the bullet to expose the elephant in the room, it looks very new. cool tho.
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Old 7th September 2016, 08:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
...and they appear to be butted rings.

biting the bullet to expose the elephant in the room, it looks very new. cool tho.

Every Moro armor I know of uses butted mail.
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Old 7th September 2016, 10:14 AM   #13
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interesting. will remember that.
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Old 7th September 2016, 03:26 PM   #14
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The perfect consistency of the wire rings and identically round holes without wear on either component alone tell me that this is not very old.

But the "pitting" on the plates is hammered texture.

Regardless of age, a fair amount of handwork went into putting this together. It just is not very old.
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Old 7th September 2016, 08:52 PM   #15
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I'm thinking early 20th century. I'm thinking it's has been kept well away from the elements thus the minimal pittings. Forgot to show the front so here it is. As being wHite brass possible but the plates rust, so do some of the ring. I really am not 100% sure of the composition of the metAL but looks steel to me.
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Old 8th September 2016, 02:09 AM   #16
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I lean toward modern made to look more like Maranao style.

In addition to issues already made, I noticed that the decorations on the copper plates are in more Luzon style, not Moro.

Also the catches are not traditional or correct for traditional Moro work.

Great modern work though!
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Old 8th September 2016, 04:00 AM   #17
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Bathala:

I think you are hearing consensus that this is an interesting, non-traditional set of Moro iron armor, with copper alloy (brass?) embellishments, that likely dates from the second half of the 20th C. Battara has pointed to features that might suggest multicultural (including non-Moro) input into its construction, and shakethetrees has given a good account of how the plates were likely made.

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Old 8th September 2016, 02:09 PM   #18
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Default Thank you for you opinion!

I don't know why the last comment was repeated, but yes guy I must admit it's starting to be clear it's more modern than I thought but still great armor. Wondering what was the purpose of making it in steel rather than brass? It would have been way easier and more closer to its antique counterparts.
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Old 8th September 2016, 02:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bathala
As being wHite brass possible but the plates rust, so do some of the ring. I really am not 100% sure of the composition of the metAL but looks steel to me.

A simple magnet test should tell your whether or not the plates and/or rings are steel or iron.
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Old 8th September 2016, 05:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bathala
I don't know why the last comment was repeated, but yes guy I must admit it's starting to be clear it's more modern than I thought but still great armor. Wondering what was the purpose of making it in steel rather than brass? It would have been way easier and more closer to its antique counterparts.


Having been to the Philippines many times I feel that this was probably made in the same region (Mindanao) as the originals. Probably made by someone who has some knowledge of the local use of these armors, consider it to be a homage to something from the past.

Most Philippine citizens that I have met would have little to no knowledge of Philippine armor unless it was part of their personal culture. I do not think this was an attempt to fool anyone or the materials would have been different. They used whatever materials were available to them and brass was not readily available. I myself have had problems finding things in the Philippines that I could easily find from multiple sources were I live.
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Old 10th September 2016, 02:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estcrh
Having been to the Philippines many times I feel that this was probably made in the same region (Mindanao) as the originals. Probably made by someone who has some knowledge of the local use of these armors, consider it to be a homage to something from the past.

Most Philippine citizens that I have met would have little to no knowledge of Philippine armor unless it was part of their personal culture. I do not think this was an attempt to fool anyone or the materials would have been different. They used whatever materials were available to them and brass was not readily available. I myself have had problems finding things in the Philippines that I could easily find from multiple sources were I live.


I agree with your assessment.

Also, as I have said before, it seems that most of the antique weaponry was brought over the US. I have sold several things back to the Philippines from my collection over the years.
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