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Old 1st March 2020, 11:11 AM   #1
David R
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Default latest spear head aquisition

This one turned up at a collectors meeting, just as I was looking for something like it. The square-ish tang makes me think Philippines, but the narrow, hollow ground section gives me pause for thought. It is very much a stabber and mail piercing blade rather than the broader bladed spears that seem more typical.

I punched it through some card to show the X section more clearly.
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Old 1st March 2020, 01:33 PM   #2
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I would almost guess that it was a Japanese yari spearhead if it wasn't for the tang configuration. Nice blade whatever it is.
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Old 1st March 2020, 07:40 PM   #3
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Hi
Do you think the tang has been worked on as it Looks to be very small in relation to the blade

I would have taught if it was mounted in a shaft the leverage of the blade would pop the tang out of the ide of the shaft quiet easily

I taught yari also when I first saw the photo.

Regards

Ken
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Old 1st March 2020, 07:57 PM   #4
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It does look small, but so are the tangs on most Philippine spears. Like you say, they look too small, but I see the same on a lot of ethnic blades.....

Below is an example posted on this site some time ago.
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Old 4th March 2020, 07:35 PM   #5
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Hi David,

You are not getting much help with the Philippine origin (or otherwise) of your spear head, and I'm thinking that is because the hollow ground nature of the blade is causing people to scratch their heads a bit. I find it odd for a Philippine spear, but perhaps it is a rare variant. At the same time, I can't think of a clear alternative origin.

Ian.
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Old 4th March 2020, 07:54 PM   #6
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This is exactly why I posted it, it does not look like the run of the mill Budiak, though I have seen some of them get close..... It is very much an armour piercing blade, and some Moro did wear armour!

At some point I will give it a scrub and an etch, and see what comes out.
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Old 5th March 2020, 02:39 AM   #7
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Moro armour has more carabao and brass plates. This spearhead profile looks more for chainmaille than Moro armour.

I think it is also too thin for the usual Moro spearhead. And most Philippine spears have round tangs, nothing like this.

Ian is right - I was also scratching my head.
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Old 5th March 2020, 09:20 AM   #8
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Looking around I have found Moro spears that are narrow, though not quite as narrow as mine. Regarding the tang, one pic below is of my spear tang, and the other of a known Moro spear.
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Old 5th March 2020, 10:57 PM   #9
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As I said "most" are round tangs, and even the example of a square tang that you show is not like the hollowed spearhead - it is rounded at top of the tang. Now most of then other Philippine spearheads that are square at the base are from Lumad groups (ie. Bagobo).

Also yours in question is not just narrower than Moro spearheads, but also (so far) Moro spearheads are not hollow ground.
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Old 6th March 2020, 01:42 PM   #10
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These differences are why I posted it here. I am not pushing for it to be something it is not, I am wanting input as to what it might be.
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Old 6th March 2020, 02:26 PM   #11
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The closest lance head yours resembles is the British 1846 with the long langets removed and a tang added. Ref: The Cavalry Lance, Alan Larsen & Henry Yallop
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Old 7th March 2020, 05:56 PM   #12
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Well it's not one of them! I am still looking for what it might be.... The problem is that the sharp end sends one message, and the tang end a different one.

The closest I have found is an Indonesian spear, with the head made out of Wootz.
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Last edited by David R : 7th March 2020 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 8th March 2020, 08:47 PM   #13
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Hmmmm............wootz............could it be a Persian or Indian traded spearhead then?
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Old 8th March 2020, 09:09 PM   #14
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I just don't know! That will have to wait on me doing a quick scrub and etch.

It's a frustrating piece. The blade shape has been a "go too" for a rigid stabbing spear since the bronze age, so is really more about function than ethnicity. I see example from bronze age Luristan, Migration period Norway, and even 19th century Europe, and damn near everywhere and when in between. I thought the tang would be more indicative of origin, as that is more about local traditions in smithing than function.

It's well made, quite heavy and functional, and so I am confident that it is not some dealers sport. I will have to see what an etch brings out.
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