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Old 6th November 2012, 03:50 AM   #1
Battara
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Default Odd Visayan Ivory Kris Dagger?

This ended on ebay. I wonder if it is Visayan due to the nature of the wavy blade and the cross hatching on the back of the ivory hilt. The coin guard is 19th century Spanish silver. What puzzles me even more is the face carving pommel. Many Visayan hilts have faces carved into them and so does this one. However this face looks to be of Chinese influence to me.

It is a small dagger - what do you think?
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Old 6th November 2012, 03:51 AM   #2
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Some more pictures:
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Old 6th November 2012, 05:34 AM   #3
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I'm with you, Jose. It looks visayan. The face is similar to the "demon" designs (actually probably a stylized representation of the chinese fu dog) found in very old Philippine altar tables. The design is also seen in stone (in catholic churches). It is believe chinese artisans carved these decorations. That's why your blade handle also has a chinese feel.

The coin is the type commonly seen from the Spanish-era in the Philippines.

Here is another visayan sword with similar face, and also in ivory (or some kind of bone).
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Old 6th November 2012, 06:05 AM   #4
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Here is another one with that hilt variation from the Military Museum in Madrid.
I have studied another one, like the one below, in a US collection and the face grip details of this kind of sword and your kris above are quite similar.

Michael
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Old 6th November 2012, 10:22 AM   #5
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The coin is intriguing. There are two Chinese characters on it. One is "Ta" and the other "Tien."
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Old 6th November 2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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The Chinese characters on the coin is perhaps evidence that the anthropomorphic design is originally Chinese (????), but not necessarily the same as the Visayan anthropomorphic design which may have a different origin.

Finding out what "ta" (big) and "tien" (sky) represents and why they were added to the Spanish coin may give a clue regarding the history of this dagger. The coin experts may know.

I am inclined to agree with Nacho that the hilt was perhaps made by Chinese artisans based outside China.
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Old 6th November 2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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Nonoy, the Chinese marks are chop marks indicating that the coin was weighed and has the right silver weight. This means the silver coin passed through China via the galleon trade.
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Old 6th November 2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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Thank you so far. I wish were able to have bid on it.

The other thing that threw me is the fact that it is missing a collar or ferrule.

Also Nacho, would you post the rest of your nice bone/ivory hilted piece please?

By the way, here is a picture of similar Visayan daggers from an older thread for comparison (from Zelbone):
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Last edited by Battara : 6th November 2012 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 6th November 2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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Here is one another, from Vandoo, similar to the one posted by Michael (VVV). As Vandoo or someone another wrote years ago, it resembles somewhat a hilt on a keris, which belongs to the Ashmolean collection in Oxford, there from 1637. So this type could be a very old one. There is also probably some superficial similarity to older Kastane hilts.
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Old 7th November 2012, 06:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Thank you so far. I wish were able to have bid on it.

The other thing that threw me is the fact that it is missing a collar or ferrule.

Also Nacho, would you post the rest of your nice bone/ivory hilted piece please?

By the way, here is a picture of similar Visayan daggers from an older thread for comparison (from Zelbone):


As requested:
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Old 7th November 2012, 07:34 AM   #11
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wow, that looks ivory to me! first ever to see a binangon with this type of material. Matahum kaayo!!!
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:43 PM   #12
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Thank you Nacho for the pictures. I agree with Spunger that the hilt looks like aged ivory.

Would it be unusual for a Panay piece like this to not have a collar at the bottom of the ivory?
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:32 PM   #13
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The more i look at this the more it looks like a put together piece.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
The more i look at this the more it looks like a put together piece.

Well that is what I originally thought, especially where the ivory and the silver coin meet.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:38 PM   #15
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That's a mean carving for sure! There are several elements on the pommel that I find very captivating!


Cheers, - Thor
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