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Old 30th January 2019, 03:53 AM   #1
xasterix
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Default Looking vintage and antique samples of Talibong of Panay Island

Greetings everyone, hope you and your blades are doing OK.

I've recently acquired a blade that was ID'd as an Iloilo Talibong with a Binukay handle and Linamay blade profile [Linamay-Binukay], circa 1970s, made most likely by the Panay Bukidnon tribe. Would very much appreciate if other members can share their blades from Panay Island, especially vintage and antique ones.

I believe that 'talibong' is similar to 'sundang' and 'itak'- it's a general term across Visayas that simply means 'blade'. In Panay island, a 'talibong' may also refer to a fighting blade.

For reference, here's a link to the 'Filipino Traditional Blades' FB page with a sample of Panay Island talibongs (the names included are the smiths who made them) and their corresponding IDs, indicated as [blade profile - figural head name or utility]

https://web.facebook.com/permalink....199561170798116
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Old 30th January 2019, 11:01 AM   #2
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i'll start with these three. would these qualify, or are you looking for a particular profile?
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Last edited by Spunjer : 30th January 2019 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 30th January 2019, 11:43 AM   #3
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Here you can see one of my examples, I would call it tenegre: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=Tenegre

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 31st January 2019, 07:23 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sajen
Here you can see one of my examples, I would call it tenegre: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=Tenegre

Regards,
Detlef



Great piece Detlef! Yes, you are correct in classifying it as Tenegre, with a Kinampit blade profile. I'm interested at the similarities between our pieces (especially on the scabbard part). Although I must say yours is better preserved. I'm curious- how does it handle in terms of weight distribution? Evenly weighted, tip- or hilt-weighted?
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Old 31st January 2019, 07:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
i'll start with these three. would these qualify, or are you looking for a particular profile?


They definitely qualify- they're gorgeous! Especially the Bakutan profile with the blade inlay- breathtaking, and I like the rattan wrap known as 'pikit', I don't commonly see that on Panay talibongs
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Old 31st January 2019, 02:03 PM   #6
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I posted a WWII era tenegre sometime back that is possibly from Panay. This would be vintage, not antique of course, though it won't be long before it reached that status.
Probably made for a WWII vet as a souvenir, but it has a thck, sharp and nasty blade on it.
http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthrea...ghlight=Tenegre
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Old 31st January 2019, 02:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I posted a WWII era tenegre sometime back that is possibly from Panay. This would be vintage, not antique of course, though it won't be long before it reached that status.
Probably made for a WWII vet as a souvenir, but it has a thck, sharp and nasty blade on it.
http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthrea...ghlight=Tenegre


Another great Talibong with a Kinampit blade profile!

Btw don't be confused when I call it Talibong (as it's a general term for a fighting blade); Tenegre is also a valid term that connotes the blade came from lowlanders. I read there that you were wondering why the sword was dressed up, here's the explanation as recounted by the collector who I bought mine from:

"This is supposedly kept in the house and is only worn during fiestas and other occasions. The owner would wear a white polo shirt and tie the blade behind his back. It is not unusual for them to get into fights when they are inebriated. Most fights were slashing type of movements since apparently they did not want to kill each other. This went on till the late 80s because it was only the local government who maintained peace and order in remote areas. The Philippine Constabulary did not reach many barrios during those days."

Another friend who was very familiar with the ways of the different tribes and locals in the area remarked that it was usually a very fatal warning sign if the owner of a talibong moved his sword from one side of his waist to the other.

Talibong are also a focal point of esoteric practices; a sword is usually 'activated' via secret rituals. Otherwise, if swords do not undergo these, they are considered as 'empty'.
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Old 31st January 2019, 04:13 PM   #8
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Thank you Xasterix, special for proving the exact name of the blade profile. The sword is without scabbard 621 gram and tip-weighted, fast and nice in the hand. At my scabbard are missing two brass bands which have been in up and down over the leather throat, you can see it by the different patination. When you wish I can take some new pictures at weekend.
I would try carefully to bring back in original form the guard of the handle. It seems to be made from thin sheet so it will be good possible. By the thin guard and scabbbard style I would date yours to the mid of 20th century, my one around the turn of the centuries. Yours is a very nice good example from this time frame. I have a similar example, maybe a little later as yours and not so nice but sadly can't provide pictures since it isn't in my hands in the moment.

Best regards,
Detlef

Last edited by Sajen : 31st January 2019 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 31st January 2019, 04:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Yours is a very nice good example from this time frame. I have a similar example, maybe a little later as yours and not so nice but sadly can't provide pictures since it isn't in my hands in the moment.



Forget that I've once posted it here for discussion: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=visayan
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Old 31st January 2019, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
Another great Talibong with a Kinampit blade profile!

Btw don't be confused when I call it Talibong (as it's a general term for a fighting blade); Tenegre is also a valid term that connotes the blade came from lowlanders. I read there that you were wondering why the sword was dressed up, here's the explanation as recounted by the collector who I bought mine from:

"This is supposedly kept in the house and is only worn during fiestas and other occasions. The owner would wear a white polo shirt and tie the blade behind his back. It is not unusual for them to get into fights when they are inebriated. Most fights were slashing type of movements since apparently they did not want to kill each other. This went on till the late 80s because it was only the local government who maintained peace and order in remote areas. The Philippine Constabulary did not reach many barrios during those days."

Another friend who was very familiar with the ways of the different tribes and locals in the area remarked that it was usually a very fatal warning sign if the owner of a talibong moved his sword from one side of his waist to the other.

Talibong are also a focal point of esoteric practices; a sword is usually 'activated' via secret rituals. Otherwise, if swords do not undergo these, they are considered as 'empty'.

Interesting that my blade would be classified for the same blade profile as Detlef's. True, the both seem to have a false top edge at the tip, but my tip seems more like a clip point. Detlef's bottom edge seems perfectly straight, while mine bellies a bit and curves upward at the tip. Also not visible in my photos is the the reverse side of my blade is perfectly flat, while the side shown in my photos is more concave (in an angular fashion), giving it a similar design to a mandau. I cannot tell for sure if Detlef's blade does this or not. Can you confirm?
I don't believe it was i who was curious about the manner of dress for this blade. While i appreciate your description of cultural usage i'm fairly certain that my example was made for a returning WWII U.S. soldier, especially given the American eagle holding the crossed U.S. and Filipino flags with the word "Victory" on the banner.
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Old 31st January 2019, 06:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Interesting that my blade would be classified for the same blade profile as Detlef's. True, the both seem to have a false top edge at the tip, but my tip seems more like a clip point. Detlef's bottom edge seems perfectly straight, while mine bellies a bit and curves upward at the tip. Also not visible in my photos is the the reverse side of my blade is perfectly flat, while the side shown in my photos is more concave (in an angular fashion), giving it a similar design to a mandau. I cannot tell for sure if Detlef's blade does this or not. Can you confirm?
I don't believe it was i who was curious about the manner of dress for this blade. While i appreciate your description of cultural usage i'm fairly certain that my example was made for a returning WWII U.S. soldier, especially given the American eagle holding the crossed U.S. and Filipino flags with the word "Victory" on the banner.


My apologies, David, upon closer inspection yours is actually Bakutan. The blade profiles can be quite confusing; good thing you pointed out that it bellies a bit. I'm confident that Detlef's is also chisel grind (that's the usual configuration of Visayan blades; one side beveled, the other flat). It's highly possible that it was already in use before the War, and was given in gratitude to a U.S. soldier. Interesting thing about that false edge- even in modern talibongs, sometimes it's there, sometimes it isn't.
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Old 31st January 2019, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Thank you Xasterix, special for proving the exact name of the blade profile. The sword is without scabbard 621 gram and tip-weighted, fast and nice in the hand. At my scabbard are missing two brass bands which have been in up and down over the leather throat, you can see it by the different patination. When you wish I can take some new pictures at weekend.
I would try carefully to bring back in original form the guard of the handle. It seems to be made from thin sheet so it will be good possible. By the thin guard and scabbbard style I would date yours to the mid of 20th century, my one around the turn of the centuries. Yours is a very nice good example from this time frame. I have a similar example, maybe a little later as yours and not so nice but sadly can't provide pictures since it isn't in my hands in the moment.

Best regards,
Detlef


Saw the pics; looks like a long-lost brother of my sword! You're right, I need to tweak the guard more. It seems that swords of this type were made to be fast and nice; I'd venture a guess that both our swords are from Iloilo. The Panay Bukidnon tribe would most likely have forged our swords as they are famous for their distinct talibongs which they call in their native dialect as "sabre". Looking at our swords- I agree with that label, as I've yet to encounter another vintage/antique that's as nimble.
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Old 31st January 2019, 06:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
My apologies, David, upon closer inspection yours is actually Bakutan. The blade profiles can be quite confusing; good thing you pointed out that it bellies a bit. I'm confident that Detlef's is also chisel grind (that's the usual configuration of Visayan blades; one side beveled, the other flat). It's highly possible that it was already in use before the War, and was given in gratitude to a U.S. soldier. Interesting thing about that false edge- even in modern talibongs, sometimes it's there, sometimes it isn't.

No worries Xasterix, and nice to have an identifier on the blade type. Can you tell us where your information is referenced from. I have never seen such specifics of these type of blades before.
Yes, i suppose this blade my have seen some use before the war. One thing for certain is that it is a very serious blade, not made cheaply or just for show and it does show some wear, though in what context it is hard to say.
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Old 31st January 2019, 07:55 PM   #14
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Would very much appreciate if other members can share their blades from Panay Island, especially vintage and antique ones.

I'm adding a few more for diversity:

1. I'd tend to refer to this 17" blade as ginunting even if it exhibits a false edge & slight belly and leans forward a tad; hilt Bakunawa (= Binukay?). Ilonggo, I'd guess?

2. A basically straight 19" blade - IMHO it seems tough to call this a clip point; with such slender & straight blades the separation between bakutan and linamay seem to blur... BTW, what is the name of this traditional hilt style? Does the distinct scabbard style allow to narrow down its origin?

Regards,
Kai
(pics courtesy of Oliver & Erik)
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Old 31st January 2019, 09:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
For reference, here's a link to the 'Filipino Traditional Blades' FB page with a sample of Panay Island talibongs (the names included are the smiths who made them) and their corresponding IDs, indicated as [blade profile - figural head name or utility]

https://web.facebook.com/permalink....199561170798116

Thanks for all your efforts on the ground!

BTW, what language did you utilize as lingua franca for the given names (Panay pieces)? Any chance to assemble a table specifying the equivalent terms for all ethnic (sub)groups?

Regarding the considerable ethnic/cultural diversity on Panay wouldn't it make sense to at least include Guiramas and Negros Occidental, too?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st February 2019, 01:22 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
No worries Xasterix, and nice to have an identifier on the blade type. Can you tell us where your information is referenced from. I have never seen such specifics of these type of blades before.
Yes, i suppose this blade my have seen some use before the war. One thing for certain is that it is a very serious blade, not made cheaply or just for show and it does show some wear, though in what context it is hard to say.


Hi David, I'm attaching here the reference pic from Filipino Traditional Blades, I just added the numbers. The persons on the ground (with some native to Iloilo), are a mix of mountaineers and speleologists who have made it their life's work to rediscover modern traditional blades, with an occasional benchmarking against available vintage and antique samples both in PH and abroad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
1. I'd tend to refer to this 17" blade as ginunting even if it exhibits a false edge & slight belly and leans forward a tad; hilt Bakunawa (= Binukay?). Ilonggo, I'd guess?


Hi Kai, yes that is indeed a ginunting according to the FilTradBlades classification; regarding the hilt, I'll ask around what it's called. And yep, it must be Ilonggo; as far as I can tell, the metal accents on the scabbard and the hilt seem to be consistent among Iloilo blades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
2. A basically straight 19" blade - IMHO it seems tough to call this a clip point; with such slender & straight blades the separation between bakutan and linamay seem to blur... BTW, what is the name of this traditional hilt style? Does the distinct scabbard style allow to narrow down its origin?


As stated in the FilTradBlades page, they classify that basic hilt style as "utility". You're right there is some blurring of blade profile classification. Here are my takes on the different blade profiles:

1. Linamay- starts narrow from the tang, then straight spine, bulges near the tip, no false edge.

2. Bakutan- May be narrow all throughout or progresses in the same way as Linamay; a clip point starts from the last 1/5th or even 1/7th of the blade; the underside (blade edge) is round. May have a false edge.

The main confusion, even among locals, is focused on the kinampit and ginunting, reason being that smiths from different areas in Panay may classify them about the same, or interchange the terms. With regard to FilTradBlade's classification, I believe they classify it as such:

3. Ginunting- Resembles an upside-down linamay.

4. Kinampit- Resembles the usual ginunting blade profile found in many modern blades.

That being said...I use the 'kinampit' term more often, as the locals of Libacao, Aklan (the highlands) prefer use that as a catch-both term. There are several sources in Panay Island of modern talibong, I believe these may be the same sources for the vintage and antique ones [proceeds from municipality, province] :

1. Estancia, Iloilo
2. Sibalom, Antique
3. Culasi, Antique
4. Tapaz, Capiz
5. Libacao, Aklan

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
BTW, what language did you utilize as lingua franca for the given names (Panay pieces)? Any chance to assemble a table specifying the equivalent terms for all ethnic (sub)groups?


I have to double-check this, but I believe the main dialect used for classification was Hiligaynon, the major dialect in Panay Island. It has many similarities with Cebuano. Kai, great idea on the language and classification table; I'll suggest this to the guys on the ground. Regading Negros Island, they have a very similar blade to the Talibong-Linamay which they call "Tiyanan".

I'm including here additional pics of vintage Iloilo talibongs; also from the same source as mine. They haven't been restored yet, straight out of storage I think.
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Last edited by xasterix : 1st February 2019 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 1st February 2019, 10:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Thanks for all your efforts on the ground!


All the credit belongs to the Filipino Traditional Blades team, who have worked tirelessly and pro bono; they've done all the legwork. Like you, I just benefit from their generosity in sharing these data
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Old 1st February 2019, 10:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xasterix
All the credit belongs to the Filipino Traditional Blades team, who have worked tirelessly and pro bono; they've done all the legwork. Like you, I just benefit from their generosity in sharing these data

Thanks for clearing this up. What i am about to say does not mean that i believe these categories are incorrect or should not be taken into account. Certainly someone did some research here. Still, this is a commercial company seeking to sell it's product and it is in there best interest to have very specific names and stories for each of the variety of weapons that they sell. The American owner of this company apparently has his own ties to Pekiti-Tirsia Kali martial arts and is guided by this particular school of thought. I did try to do a little research on TFW, but it does not seem possible to find any information about how they determined all the very specific names hundreds of different varieties of edged weapons they make and sell. Some of their modern examples of known varieties of antique weapons look fairly close to form, while others seem well off the mark as far as i can tell. So while it is interesting to find very specific names to variations on the talibong or tenegre is is difficult for me not to apply at least a gain of salt to the information.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 12:11 AM   #19
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David, i think you're mistaking TFW with this page, and i assure you, it is not the same. the page that xasterix is referring to is legitimate. i have learned more about Filipino swords on that fb page (Filipino Traditional Blades) than anywhere else, including here. much kudos to the people that's running that page; they've done a lot in regards to researching the hundreds of different swords and knives found throughout the archipelago.
as far as TFW, whatever's on that site are either copied from the swords found all over the internet, sprinkled with what has been posted on this website, and the rest are nothing more that pure fantasy.

again, the Filipino Traditional Blades is no way affiliated with the TFW site that you mentioned. i can't emphasized that enough
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Old 2nd February 2019, 12:46 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Spunjer
David, i think you're mistaking TFW with this page, and i assure you, it is not the same. the page that xasterix is referring to is legitimate. i have learned more about Filipino swords on that fb page (Filipino Traditional Blades) than anywhere else, including here. much kudos to the people that's running that page; they've done a lot in regards to researching the hundreds of different swords and knives found throughout the archipelago.
as far as TFW, whatever's on that site are either copied from the swords found all over the internet, sprinkled with what has been posted on this website, and the rest are nothing more that pure fantasy.

again, the Filipino Traditional Blades is no way affiliated with the TFW site that you mentioned. i can't emphasized that enough

Thanks Ron. The problem was that when i googled "Filipino Traditional Blades" the website for "Filipino Traditional Weapons" is what shows up right at the top. My mistake.
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Old 4th February 2019, 05:59 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
David, i think you're mistaking TFW with this page, and i assure you, it is not the same. the page that xasterix is referring to is legitimate. i have learned more about Filipino swords on that fb page (Filipino Traditional Blades) than anywhere else, including here. much kudos to the people that's running that page; they've done a lot in regards to researching the hundreds of different swords and knives found throughout the archipelago.
as far as TFW, whatever's on that site are either copied from the swords found all over the internet, sprinkled with what has been posted on this website, and the rest are nothing more that pure fantasy.

again, the Filipino Traditional Blades is no way affiliated with the TFW site that you mentioned. i can't emphasized that enough


Thank for the vote of support, Spunjer!!!

Decided to clean the sword further. Hope more people can share their precious talibong / tenegre / sanduko =)
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Old 6th February 2019, 12:26 AM   #22
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Here is my taribon example:
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Old 6th February 2019, 01:32 AM   #23
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Here is my taribon example:


Gorgeous. That one has Linamay blade profile, and comes from the province of Aklan as based on the J-configuration of the scabbard and the hilt characteristics. It must have come from a very accomplished warrior, or was used as payment for a marriage dowry. While the hilt design is still sustained in modern blades from Libacao, Aklan, the art of putting metal to declare the wielder's status is currently lost.
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Old 6th February 2019, 02:37 AM   #24
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Thank you Xasterix.

For clarity's sake, I restored the top part of the nose and one of the coin "ears" as well as making the scabbard based on research done there and shared by a former formite known here as Migueldiaz. I also took off the nickel plating that later coated the blade.
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Old 6th February 2019, 05:33 AM   #25
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Thank you Xasterix.

For clarity's sake, I restored the top part of the nose and one of the coin "ears" as well as making the scabbard based on research done there and shared by a former formite known here as Migueldiaz. I also took off the nickel plating that later coated the blade.


That's great! Yes, I'm acquainted with sir Lorenz Lasco, who happens to be my best friend's uncle. I attended one of his talks last year about Philippine swords; I'm glad he's still fighting the good fight with regard to educating people on ancient sandata and the deep historical and cultural nuances brought about by such.

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Old 6th February 2019, 06:07 AM   #26
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Here is an example from my collection.

Best,
Robert
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Old 6th February 2019, 07:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Robert
Here is an example from my collection.

Best,
Robert


Lovely piece sir, thanks for sharing! Seems that the original owner has some distinction, based on the metal adornments on the figural head. May I ask if you know of its provenance?
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Old 6th February 2019, 11:20 AM   #28
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Lovely piece sir, thanks for sharing! Seems that the original owner has some distinction, based on the metal adornments on the figural head. May I ask if you know of its provenance?


You are most welcome. Unfortunately as this was sold by auction and came to me with no provenance what so ever. Here though is a link to the original thread on this piece that contains a few of the original auction photos as well as some very helpful information from Lorenz and other knowledgeable forum members. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=tenegre I have also added a few more examples from my collection. One with beautiful carved buffalo horn hilt with horn covered sheath and three plain working examples.

Best,
Robert
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Old 6th February 2019, 11:50 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Robert
You are most welcome. Unfortunately as this was sold by auction and came to me with no provenance what so ever. Here though is a link to the original thread on this piece that contains a few of the original auction photos as well as some very helpful information from Lorenz and other knowledgeable forum members. http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ghlight=tenegre I have also added a few more examples from my collection. One with beautiful carved buffalo horn hilt with horn covered sheath and three plain working examples.

Best,
Robert


I love them all sir- especially the one with the horn-covered sheath.

Looking at the working samples, I can't help but compare them to what's currently being produced today in the same blade hotspots in Panay Island. These old samples seem sturdier and better-looking than their modern counterparts. I'm guessing these three are built like tanks, since their spine would be thick.

I'm glad you appreciate these weapons sir, especially the ones that are now deemed as extinct (there is currently no known traditional smith who can make Iloilo talibong; the ones that are still being propagated are from Libacao, Aklan- the talibongs there are distinct because of their J-shaped scabbards and long-nosed, large-eyed figural hilts, like what Battara posted).

Hopefully more of these antique pieces emerge in order to provide a benchmark for the unsurpassed quality of Philippine bladed weapons in a bygone age, and hopefully serve as guideposts or inspiration for the current generation of traditional smiths.
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Old 7th February 2019, 06:30 AM   #30
Robert
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Centerville, Kansas
Posts: 2,182
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I'm glad you appreciate these weapons


Actually I prefer the older working examples and most of my collection is made up of these with a few more elaborate pieces thrown in when I find ones that I can afford. You are quite correct that these older pieces are built like tanks with most blades being at least 1/4 inch thick or more, beautifully made and of wonderful craftsmanship. I have added one more photo of an older example from my collection, but this one has the more elaborate deity hilt and buffalo horn guard. Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.
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Last edited by Robert : 7th February 2019 at 08:37 PM.
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