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Old 19th August 2017, 08:46 PM   #1
DaveA
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Default Help Identify - Indonesia?

Hello,

I recently picked up this knife at auction. The hilt makes me think of an origin in Indonesia, but the blade I do not recognize. The knife is well made, balanced, blade firm with no play.

Description:

- OAL = 10 3/8 inches
- Blade length = 4 5/8 inches, the first 1 5/8 inches are unsharpened false edge
- Blade thickness = 3/8 inches, tapering to 1/8 inch
- Blade Top is straight
- Blade edge has a broad sharpened bevel grind on one side only, the other side flat.
- Blade cross section is flat.
- Blade width broadens from 5/8 inch at hilt to 1 inch at the end of a false edge, then narrowing as it sweeps upward to the tip. This false edge is chisel grind (both sides)
- Bolster is brass in one piece roughly matching cross section of the hilt and with two raised ring portions nearest the hilt.
- Hilt length is 5 3/4
- Hilt cross section is a flattened oval with edge along bottom aligned with the blade and rounded on top
- Hilt material is dark hardwood with slight greenish hue
- Hilt design motif is floral with carved portion 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide at the wides portion.

Your thoughts please?

Best Regards,

Dave A.
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Old 19th August 2017, 09:21 PM   #2
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Hello Dave,

it was very long on my watch list ( ) and like you I think it's from Indonesia or maybe Malaysia but I can't name it and also don't know from where it is exactly. But I know that I like it! Sorry that I can't be from better help. But I think that the hilt isn't from wood but from horn, I am nearly sure.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th August 2017, 09:34 PM   #3
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Default hilt material

Thanks. Malaysia is an interesting thought.

The hilt might be horn. That was my first thought. It doesn't seem to have the right grain when I look at it under magnification. I have not cleaned this item yet so perhaps there are more clues lurking beneath the dirt.

- Dave A.
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Old 19th August 2017, 10:15 PM   #4
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Hello Dave,

This might be a woodworkers tool (artisanal carving knife, possibly doubling as an EDC).

As suggested, it possibly may be Malay (including the coastal communities of Sumatra and neighbouring islands).

I'm also inclined to believe the hilt is from kerbau horn.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 20th August 2017, 03:00 AM   #5
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Old 20th August 2017, 03:29 AM   #6
A. G. Maisey
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This blade style is widespread in SE Asia, the chisel edge permits a very sharp edge when correctly sharpened. Ideal for splitting rotan and similar materials. M'ranggis use this type of knife for general purpose work, I have several that I use for bench work.

The area of origin is probably going to be determined by the hilt:- ID hilt style, ID knife.

In Bali today these knives are called temutik.

My guess for this one would be Lombok. It is a guess.

Various sizes, ages, qualities:-
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Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 20th August 2017 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 20th August 2017, 01:37 PM   #7
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Den Pasar Museum Example:-
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Old 20th August 2017, 03:14 PM   #8
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Thank you Alan, now I've learned something again!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 20th August 2017, 08:38 PM   #9
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Default Thank you

Thank you Alan for the info.

The pictures will be very helpful in the future I am sure.

- Dave A.
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Old 20th August 2017, 08:54 PM   #10
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Default Horn

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Dave,

This might be a woodworkers tool (artisanal carving knife, possibly doubling as an EDC).

As suggested, it possibly may be Malay (including the coastal communities of Sumatra and neighbouring islands).

I'm also inclined to believe the hilt is from kerbau horn.

Regards,
Kai


After cleaning and looking more closely at this an other examples, I now agree it is horn. The greenish color I have not seen in water buffalo horn before, nor is this example as dark black as others. I suppose this is just natural variation.
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Old 20th August 2017, 09:34 PM   #11
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Default Hilt curves up

On further thought, I'm not yet convinced about the identification of this knife as pemutik/temutik.

I cannot find a pemutik example with a similar hilt that curves upward and away from the sharpened edge as this one does. Also, this hilt cross section does not match the typical symmetrical elongated barrel shape either.

Would you call this floral hilt design puntung? It is much more elaborate than other examples I can find on the forum or elsewhere on any knife.

- Dave A.
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Old 20th August 2017, 10:53 PM   #12
A. G. Maisey
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It is a temutik Dave --- at least that is what Balinese people call all the variations of this small, general purpose knife.

Some of these knives have a chisel grind blade, some do not, some have the unsharpened dip at the ricasso, some do not, blades can be different shapes, some hilts are straight, some hilts diverge one way, other hilts diverge in the opposite direction, but whatever the variation in the specific example, Balinese people will call it "temutik" --- or a variation of that word, as in Javanese there is a wide degree of flexibility in how words are rendered in Balinese, you might hear "temutik", or "pemutik", or " 'utik", or sometimes just " 'tik".

If you like you can call it a "piso", or "peso", or a "pisau", these words are the generic for any knife, but these little ones are normally referred to as "temutik".

In respect of hilt orientation, in this style of knife, and also with some other tools, orientation of the hilt can be changed to suit a particular purpose, often the blades will not be permanently fixed into the hilt, just held with a pressure fit using whatever is handy --- cloth, paper, hair, torn leaf --- and the hilt orientation gets changed for different jobs.

As for the style of ornamentation, I do not know what this would be called in Balinese, it is certainly "puntung", but "puntung" means "blunt" in Indonesian, so although this ornamentation is certainly blunt, that is not the name of a style, and for Balinese people, Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) is a public and official language, not the language they use amongst themselves.

The style of ornamentation is a stylised representation of foliage and if this were a Javanese hilt, the ornamentation would be referred to as "lung-lungan", meaning "vines".

These styles of ornamentation that use exuberant intertwined foliage as the motif, have a broad ranging reference to fertility, and by extension to the foliage that covers the lower slopes of Mount Meru, thus to the Gunungan, Siwa, ancestors.

Talismanic values are nearly always multiple in these societies, it is just a matter of how they are intended to be understood in a specific context.

EDIT

Here are some images of individual knives.
Hilt materials are:-
1) horn, 2) horn, 3) ebony, 4) ebony, 5) root of black coral (white coral), 6) wood (tri kancu)

#3 & #4 blades made by Mangku Pande Made Wija, #5 blade made by one of new working Pandes, I've forgotten his name at the moment, #6 an old blade re-dressed, #1 a 19th century blade, original hilt, new ferrule.
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Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 21st August 2017 at 12:49 AM.
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