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Old 23rd August 2020, 08:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 138

Hi friends,

Very excited to share with you one of my father's favorite blades (actually his most favorite piece), and the oldest:


Note: the coin attached to the hilt is described as follows:

Country: Philippines
Queen: Iabella II *1833-1868)
Years: 1864-68
10 centimo de peso
silver (0.900)
18mm diameter

1) possible era?

2) maguindanao?


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Old 23rd August 2020, 08:39 AM   #2
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sample of the coin on the hilt.
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Old 23rd August 2020, 04:19 PM   #3
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Hello Yves,

Congrats, that certainly looks like a genuine antique blade with nice linear laminations! What is its maximum thickness (near the hilt)?

While I can't see enough of the scabbard to comment, the newest replacement seems to be the grip wrapping.

I have problems reading the wood of the pommel - seems like it got stained (or, less likely, the white correction of the digicam may be off). The carving is of good quality though.

Coins can be deceiving; these seem about right though. I believe this kampilan originates from the second half of the 19th c., probably from the last quarter.


Last edited by kai : 23rd August 2020 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 24th August 2020, 07:16 AM   #4
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Hi Yves:

This is a difficult one to date. The kampilan is clearly of an old and traditional style. Despite adjusting some of your pictures, I really can't get a very good look at the blade. The upper section of the pommel is damaged and the grip has been re-wrapped. Carvings are very crisp and show little of the small knicks and dents that an old kampilan endures during its life. However, what concerns me most is that the guard is so well preserved. Old kampilan often show considerable wear where the iron loops pass through the wood, and indeed the loops may become loose and break through the wood, eventually being lost.

The presence of an old coin is always interesting, and it appears this coin has been with the hilt for some time, but not for 150 years. Dated coins are often misleading with respect to the age of Moro weapons. I suspect that is the case here. The scabbard also does not seem to be very old. In particular, there are nails or metal pins holding the pieces together, and that is not traditional. Typically, there were thin rattan strips that held the scabbard together, which could be cut through by striking an opponent with the sheathed sword thereby saving time in drawing it from the scabbard.

It is possible this sword is from the 1870s but it would have to have seen no combat and been stored under museum-like conditions to remain as pristine as this one. That seems unlikely. Very late 19th C is possible, but I think it is more likely early 20th C, and has been used very little. The nails in the scabbard may indicate an even later date.

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Old 25th August 2020, 12:58 AM   #5
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Interesting piece. The jaw looks like it was broken off.

Might be Maguindanao by the looks of the okir, though hard to tell in this particular one. The "teeth" could also look like Maranao work as well. These two tribes are next to each other, so some similarities exist.
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