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Old 21st July 2018, 05:03 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default Moro Kriss Sword With Odd Open Scabbard

Just when I think I've seen it all with Moro kriss variations, I came across this one! The blade here is surprisingly one of the heaviest on a Moro kriss I have ever handled, just a real cleaver, and actually poorly balanced! Even with the multi fullering lessening the original weight, it is still a beast!

The openwork scabbard is the more unique feature here. Perhaps our Moro experts can explain the designs of the cut out open areas. The scabbard is strangely bound with thin hide strips. The rattan bindings are to help keep the scabbard closed at the top and bottom where two strips were missing and are restorations by me.

Everything else is rather standard except that what looks like a wooden pommel is actually brushed copper on a short carved wooden mount!...weird!

I have a suspicion this is a 19th-century blade remounted in the early to mid 20 century.

Dimensions:
Overall length: 29in.
Blade length: 23in.
Blade width at the center: 1.75in.
Thickness of the ganja: 3/8in.
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Old 21st July 2018, 07:32 PM   #2
kai
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Hello Charles,

Thanks a lot for yet another special example!


Quote:
The openwork scabbard is the more unique feature here. Perhaps our Moro experts can explain the designs of the cut out open areas. The scabbard is strangely bound with thin hide strips. The rattan bindings are to help keep the scabbard closed at the top and bottom where two strips were missing and are restorations by me.

How are the bands of hide closed or are they intact tubes? Maybe later additions?

Any hints of earlier rattan binding along the scabbard?


Quote:
Everything else is rather standard except that what looks like a wooden pommel is actually brushed copper on a short carved wooden mount!...weird!

Possibly a somewhat later repair? The craftsmanship doesn't seem on par with the (also later?) pommel plate... (Probably also some wear of the soft metal?)


Quote:
I have a suspicion this is a 19th-century blade remounted in the early to mid 20 century.

Based on the gangya line configuration, I'd place this heavy blade as early 20th c.; scabbard probably later, I guess.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 21st July 2018, 10:57 PM   #3
Ian
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Hi Charles,

Truly unusual kris and scabbard. I'm inclined to agree with Kai that the blade may be early 20th C. The fullers are atypical in form and the blade seems unusually wide for its length, hence its considerable weight I suppose. The squared off toe on the scabbard resembles dressed-up kris from the mid-20th C, whose scabbards usually have aluminum fittings and perhaps MOP or horn/turtle shell ornamentation. The MOP insets look a lot like those found on kris from Zamboanga, which is a real melting pot of ethnic groups. The pierced scabbard goes through the front and back sections, which is highly unusual.

I think this could have started out as a Sulu or Yakan sword that was given new dress in Zamboanga. I would not rule out it being a Lumad sword in its later life, as some of the Lumad kris can be very strange.

Got any more odd kris for us this weekend?

Ian.
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Old 22nd July 2018, 09:02 PM   #4
David
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I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about the shape of the sheath cutouts. The bottom one is fairly symmetrical and could be seen as purely decorative i suppose, but the top one has a very unusual asymmetrical form leading me to believe that it might have some symbolic meaning.
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