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Old 24th September 2019, 05:43 PM   #1
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Default A Spectacular Moro Blade With a Not-So-Spectacular Hilt

Normally we like to find fine, even spectacular, Moro blades on hilts of quality that match the quality of the blade.

Here is one that definitely doesn't follow that rule. It's a superb twistcore blade on a quite ordinary, may we say "common man's", hilt. Even the scabbard is poorly carved and quite raw, with none of the surfaces smoothed out.

My theory here is that this blade may have been re-hilted many times. By the time of this last re-hilt, the owner may not have even cared that it was twistcore, especially considering its original condition.

It's a good lesson though..."never judge a book by its cover"...or in this case never judge a Moro kriss by its hilt and not have a look at the blade!
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Old 24th September 2019, 06:54 PM   #2
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Sweet! Was wondering if someone on this forum snagged it. That seller has an uncanny knack for coming up with great blades.
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Old 24th September 2019, 06:59 PM   #3
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Very nice blade indeed!
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Old 24th September 2019, 09:15 PM   #4
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Hi Charles,

I think the hilt is perfect for a sword intended for actual use in combat. The rattan strips are placed precisely for a good purchase with the hand (while still having a little silver on the hilt for show), and the small rounded pommel will not snag on anything. I've seen just this style before on battle kris, and it would not surprise if this sword was owned by a panglima or similar high ranking warrior, perhaps a member of the nobility. You have a swordsman's sword. The plain scabbard is consistent with it being used simply to transport the sword and perhaps be used in the off hand to parry blows from an opponent--again this points to this beautiful sword being a "user" rather than for display at gatherings or around the village. This appears to be a Maguindanao kris, with a hilt and scabbard from the late 19th/early 20th C.

Whenever you want to move it on ...



Last edited by Ian; 25th September 2019 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 25th September 2019, 05:05 AM   #5
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I remember this on Eprey as well.

I agree with Ian about this possibly belonging to a panglima or some other such status person. However like Charles I too have seen these rehilted many times, and often each rehilt lower in quality than the last, though sometimes it goes the other way around as a person goes up in rank.
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Old 25th September 2019, 09:20 AM   #6
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Thumbs up exactly how I like them

Really nice and exactly how I like them! Whatever the reason for the unassuming hilt - and Ian's thoughts about it being mounted for serious use as a weapon make sense to me - I much prefer a great blade so hidden than the opposite situation of very fancy dress over a blade capable of only holding hilt and scabbard together for show.
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Old 27th September 2019, 06:01 AM   #7
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I forgot to mention that this appears to be a Maguindanao kris.
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Old 28th September 2019, 01:42 PM   #8
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Ian, Lee and Jose’s perspective is valuable. We often assume that “ not pretty” is a sign of “not authentic”, or worse, - “not worthy”. In any fighting sword it was the blade that counted first and foremost. Handles reflected ethnicity of the object , fighting style and financial state of the owner.Elaborate and richly decorated handles were only rarely intended for the battlefield, and often lack historical significance. Not for nothing did Elgood noticed that Indian swords from the V&A collection assembled early have incompatible handles and blades, whereas in Wallace collection, assembled after ~1870 they are perfectly contemporaneous betraying their late court manufacture.The al Sabah collection is in fact a collection of late rich and beautiful jewellery.
That being said, everything depends on the wishes and preferences of the collector. Some go for the historical significance and practical authenticity, other go for the esthetic impact. To each his own.

Lee’s “how I like them” sums it up.
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