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 7th September 2008, 03:06 PM   #1
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default Dagger I.D. Please.

Hi Guys,
I have just bagged this ' unusual paper knife ' on E-Bay. The photos are pretty bad but I think it is a Rencong. I will post better shots when I get it but I am keen to get some feedback from you before that if possible.
Regards,
Norman.
Attached Images
  
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2008, 03:20 PM   #2
RhysMichael
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 521
Default

Yes its a rentcong from Aceh. Grats on a nice "paperknife" I can't wait to see better potos
RhysMichael is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2008, 03:34 PM   #3
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,685
Default

Looks like a bismallah etched on the blade. Could be a more recent piece. Better pictures would certainly help.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2008, 07:23 PM   #4
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default

Hi Guys,
Thanks for the comments and the confirmation, will post better photos a.s.a.p.
My Regards,
Norman.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2008, 07:44 PM   #5
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Yes, a rencong. Looks like a good piece. Bone or ivory hilt. Is there a scabbard?

Waiting like the others on better pics, but I think it is a nice one.
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th September 2008, 10:55 PM   #6
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default

Hi Henk,
Thanks for your interest, I'm afraid I don't have the answers to any of your questions, I will have to wait until the postman comes a calling.
My Regards,
Norman.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2008, 06:03 PM   #7
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Norman,

We will wait and see what the postman is bringing.
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2008, 11:01 PM   #8
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,868
Default

Hello Norman,

I have to admit that I have strong doubts about this rencong: The proportions seem to be all wrong; etched or painted inscriptions on the blade also seem to be a give-away for modern production in these blades.

Let's hope I'll have to eat my words...

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2008, 11:04 PM   #9
katana
Member
 
katana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kent
Posts: 2,653
Default

Nice 'snag' Norman,
and at an unbelievable price I really hope its ivory ...so it turns out to be an even better 'bargain' (or should that read 'steal' )...congrats

Regards David
katana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2008, 04:23 PM   #10
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default

Hi Guys,
Here are some photos of the knife. I'm not sure what to make of it, is it a vintage tourist item, is it a poorer mans knife ???? It is sharp, 8 inches overall with a blade of 5 inches, quite small I would have thought although one site I did find said that blade sizes varied from 3 inches to 20 inches. It would appear to have been sharpened on many occasions whether this conveys anything or not I don't know. The handle might be bone although it may be a tusk/tooth of some description again I'm not sure. Sorry to be so vague but it is outwith my sphere of knowledge coupled with that I seemed to have difficulty getting decent photos for some reason. The inlay looks pretty well done but file marks are evident all over the blade although this may be due in part to numerous sharpenings. As you may gather from David's ( Katana ) post I did not push the boat out with regard to price, to be truthful I paid a little less than one U.S. dollar, less than one Euro, so whatever the outcome I am pleased to have a pretty little knife to keep the others company. Oh a translation of the script would be nice if someone could oblige. Many thanks for your interest.
My Regards,
Norman.
Attached Images
       
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2008, 04:34 PM   #11
G. McCormack
Member
 
G. McCormack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 131
Send a message via AIM to G. McCormack
Default

Nice piece, looking forward to hearing more about the blade. Lovely ivory hilt.
G. McCormack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2008, 04:56 PM   #12
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Looks like the inlay is gold or souasa. This is not cheap tourist stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me this little fellow saw some battles. And probably against some dutch soldiers .
The hilt is as far as I can see Ivory. Maybe from a whale.
A pitty you don't have the scabbard.

But congrats, I think you did well, very well.
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2008, 08:39 AM   #13
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,868
Default

Hello Norman,

Yes, Henk is referring to the (Dutch-)Aceh war. That's when most of the rencong got - ummh - collected.

Quote:
Looks like the inlay is gold or souasa. This is not cheap tourist stuff.

Yes, seems like some valuable materials were used for this piece. Would be interesting to test both the inlay as well as the ferrule for gold and silver content; also the hilt material could be narrowed down, I guess: how does the tip of the hilt look, any Schrade lines, really no tiny dots from blood vessels?

However, the piece does look off to me: inlay sloppily done, hilt carved from insufficient material (flattened areas rather than evenly curved), blade shape weird (even for a Gayo blade). Technically, one might even argue that this piece isn't a rencong: no decent duru seuke (blade flaring out at the base) nor taku rungiet (the little "ears" at the front of the iron ferrule) nor any of the other characteristic ferrule features (octagonal cross section, file work).

Obviously, this is supposed to be a rencong though and it was done with far more skill than the tourist crap commonly seen on ebay but IMHO it's equally far from 19th c. craftmanship. My best bet is that this might be a ceremonial dagger for weddings - possibly 2nd half of 20th c.?

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2008, 03:57 PM   #14
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Yes Norman, that's probably the collection period of this one. This Rencong is made arround that period for sure. Earlier? Maybe.

I don't think this is an off piece. I cann't say the inlay is sloppily done. The blade suffered, and in my opinion cleaned in a way that did some damage to the inlay.
About the hilt it is very good possible that the ivory used was insufficient, but the shape of the hilt is good and it has the bulb on one side. The side worn on the belly is the flat side. I can imagine that that was more convenient when the weapen was worn in the belt.

The shape of the blade isn't weird in my opnion. It is definitely the shape of a rencong or even a sewar blade and it shows a duru seuke. Not a proper one, I do agree with you, but I think it is due the suffering of the blade. Maybe a good close up of that part couldd tell us something. The missing of the taku rungiet as the ferrule features is in my opinion also not an important direction. True, most rencong do have these features, but a lot don't. Or like we say here in Holland, exceptions do confirm the rules.

I think you should look through the suffering of this weapon.

I only will agree with you to give this rencong the status of a ceremonial dagger for weddings if the inlay is translated with the words: Poor fellow, go back home. If you enter, there is no way of return!

And for the jokers, proof that you can read this language.......

Last edited by Henk : 11th September 2008 at 07:26 PM. Reason: error in writing
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2008, 05:17 PM   #15
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default

Thanks guys I am obviously absolutely delighted with your observations.
My Regards,
Norman.
P.S. Henk I take it you are referring to the 1873-1904 conflict, do you think the knife may have been produced within that period or is an earlier piece, and yes pity there was no scabbard. Thanks again.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2008, 05:13 PM   #16
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default

Henk, Kai,
First of all many thanks to you both for your input on this piece, the following is from hands on observation rather than any prior knowledge of Rencong of which sadly I have none. Kai I think there is no doubt that this is not the epitome of the Rencong makers art, but I do think if a piece was made as a wedding object in some respects it would be better executed that this knife. I don't know about Rencong but Dirks and Swords made for weddings here tend to be elaborately made with much attention to detail rather than the well made but more workmanlike needs of a working knife. This piece has without a doubt been sharpened on many occasions not the kind of thing one does to the one and only wedding knife. Although I have not handled any Rencong I have handled many 17th 18th 19th and 20th Century pieces from many cultures and one tends to get a feel if something is more recently made and I don't get this feeling from this piece. Having said all this the finer points of Rencong I will have to leave to others.
Henk, which language is this and where do I get a translation, after all it might say 'Emergency divorce tool'.
My Regards,
Norman.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2008, 07:02 PM   #17
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,685
Default

I was thinking the inlay was brass....
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2008, 07:11 PM   #18
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: England UK.
Posts: 5,240
Default

I think you are right brass one one side and copper on the other. I wonder if the handle is possibly bone? I have an African Islamised axe with brass inlay on one side and copper on the other. Not wanting to pour cold water but I do not think this is in the gold decoration standard of work.
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2008, 07:34 PM   #19
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default

Battara, Tim,
The inlay, whatever it is, is the same on both sides, slightly different colour temperature on the photos. I am trying to find a local jeweller who can test it for me, will post result when I can.
My Regards,
Norman.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 02:25 AM   #20
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,868
Default

Hello Norman,

Quote:
I am trying to find a local jeweller who can test it for me

Please do! Also the

BTW, even silver (coin grade alloy) tarnished with acids can looks almsot like gold...

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th September 2008, 07:34 PM   #21
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
after all it might say 'Emergency divorce tool'.


Norman, If that's the translation, you also know why it is sharpened so many times
In my opinion the language is the very old indonesian language. I'm afraid we have to look for a translation in that direction, but I doubt we can find someone who is able to read and translate it.

Tim, Battara, if the inlay is brass in your opinion it probably is souassa. Souassa is as you know gold with a very high level of brass or copper.
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2008, 12:21 AM   #22
Dom
Member
 
Dom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Paris (FR*) Cairo (EG)
Posts: 1,142
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
after all it might say 'Emergency divorce tool'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henk
Norman, If that's the translation, you also know why it is sharpened so many times
In my opinion the language is the very old indonesian language. I'm afraid we have to look for
a translation in that direction, but I doubt we can find someone who is able to read and translate it.


I found someone but now ... with your stupid ideas
she decided to divorce me ... she found the tools






more seriously

on both side the same common Arabic expression
Allāhu Akbar, الله أكبر.
Usually translated "God is great" or "God is [the] greatest,"

+

Dom
Dom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2008, 08:22 PM   #23
Norman McCormick
Member
 
Norman McCormick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,167
Default

Hi Dom,
Many thanks for the translation. Sounds like you've got a feisty woman there, I think I would run if I were you.
My Regards,
Norman.
Norman McCormick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2008, 09:08 PM   #24
Dom
Member
 
Dom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Paris (FR*) Cairo (EG)
Posts: 1,142
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
I think I would run if I were you.

too late,
she put an hand on my neck 25 years ago ... and never removed it since

+

Dom
Dom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th September 2008, 02:13 AM   #25
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,868
Default

Hello Norman,

Quote:
I think there is no doubt that this is not the epitome of the Rencong makers art, but I do think if a piece was made as a wedding object in some respects it would be better executed that this knife. I don't know about Rencong but Dirks and Swords made for weddings here tend to be elaborately made with much attention to detail rather than the well made but more workmanlike needs of a working knife.

AFAIK, even those ugly tourist rencong (as well as "keris" of similar "quality") are nowadays worn at weddings. Apparently, they are not important enough anymore to most people of the current generation to invest too much thoughts and money into them...

In the old days, people would have been married wearing the best rencong they could afford. My working hypothesis is that this piece was crafted after the rencong had lost its function as a weapon and the bladesmith's skill level had already degenerated.


Quote:
This piece has without a doubt been sharpened on many occasions

Most of the scratches I see could also be left from the original shaping of the blade rather than successive sharpening attempts. I'm not sure on this though - any ideas?

Regards,
Kai
kai 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 09:33 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, 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.