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Old 26th July 2016, 03:28 AM   #1
Rafngard
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Default Three new from Luzon

Hello All,

Picturepoluza 2016 continues with three more recent acquisitions, this time with 2 bolos and a dagger from Luzon. All three have handles made from (mostly) carabao horn, brass fittings and leather scabbards. All seem to have the characteristic peened tang. The tooling on the leather scabbards makes me happy.

I think the first bolo and the dagger are both from Batangas. I suspect the bolo is 19th century, and the dagger is WWII era, based largely on similar ones I've seen on the interwebs, but these are mostly guesses. The dagger's handle is in the form of a horse head. Sadly one eye has suffered from damage (insects, presumably). The bolo's tip seems to have been damaged. Amusingly, though it's not clear from the photos, the resulting third "edge" where the tip broke of has been sharpened.

The second bolo is from Apilit, as can be seem from the markings, and I suspect is WWII era. The horn on the handle has suffered some damage (more noticeable in the photos than in person) as has the leather scabbard, but this one in particular is lively in the hand. It wants to move. Because I study Kali, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've more than once (very slowly and carefully) practiced sinawali patterns with this one and the Batangas bolo.

This thread has more on Apalit

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=Apalit

As does this one.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=Apalit

As always, any thoughts, comment, and/or corrections are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 26th July 2016, 03:30 AM   #2
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Default More pics

More!
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Old 26th July 2016, 03:33 AM   #3
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Default A few more pics

Last batch
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Old 26th July 2016, 06:38 PM   #4
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Hello Leif,

all three pieces have been on my watch list and have thought about to go for them, most interesting has been the Apalit bolo, a very nice knife. Nice also that Apalit is seen on blade and scabbard. I think that it is older as you think, would place it between 1900-1930.

The dagger is a beauty but I was afraid by the bug damage on the one side of the handle, the seller picture of this side was dark and not sharp, sadly you as well don't want to show it really! I would agree that it is from Batangas but think that it is pre WWII, the later examples have sometimes aluminium inlays instead of brass. Would really like to see the bad side of the handle to know if I should be very jealous or only a little bit!

The other bolo with chipped point could be Batangas but I am unsure, age around turn of the centuries, nice piece as well but the broken tip of the blade let me dither. When it was suddenly sold I was a little bit sad but think it come to good hands. I would think about to let reshape the tip when it would be mine.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 27th July 2016, 05:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
all three pieces have been on my watch list and have thought about to go for them
I'm getting the impression we have similar collecting tastes. Great minds...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
The dagger is a beauty but I was afraid by the bug damage on the one side of the handle, the seller picture of this side was dark and not sharp, sadly you as well don't want to show it really! [...] Would really like to see the bad side of the handle to know if I should be very jealous or only a little bit!
Strangely, of all the pictures I took that day, this is the only one that came out blurry! Maybe it's cursed.
I'll try to take a more clear picture of that when next it's convenient. In regards to the damage, I think it's not terrible (I'd still buy the item), but it's definitely not good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
The other bolo with chipped point could be Batangas but I am unsure, age around turn of the centuries, nice piece as well but the broken tip of the blade let me dither. When it was suddenly sold I was a little bit sad but think it come to good hands. I would think about to let reshape the tip when it would be mine.
I'd been watching it a while. I think what happened was that I'd just lost another item, and was frustrated, and decided "screw it!" and just bought it. I've done that more than once, and have yet to regret it.

I've thought about trying to get the tip reshaped, but really, the fact that someone sharpened the edge where the top broke off kind of amuses me so much that I'll probably leave it. It's the tiniest cutting edge ever.

Have fun,
Leif
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Old 27th July 2016, 06:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard
I'm getting the impression we have similar collecting tastes. Great minds...
Yes, it seems that we have choosen the same part of the world to collect sharp ethnograhic things from.
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Old 28th July 2016, 05:00 AM   #7
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Default Scar face

Here's the unpleasant side
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Old 28th July 2016, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard
Here's the unpleasant side
The horse seems to be shamed about it's scars and know a magic to make any picture unsharp.
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Old 28th July 2016, 08:06 PM   #9
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I actually think that if I could replace the eye it wouldn't be too bad.
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Old 29th July 2016, 02:00 AM   #10
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Leif:

Those are three nice knives you have shown with well tooled leather sheaths.

I think the longest one with the broken tip is the oldest. This could well be revolutionary war period and may have seen some action in fighting with the Spanish and later U.S. occupiers. I don't see anything particularly Batangas to it, and the hilt is reminiscent of those seen from the Laguna de Pays area of Metro Manila (west central Luzon).

The Apalit bolo is also fairly old, as Detlef has noted--perhaps early 20th C. Apalit is a town in the Province of Pampanga which is close to the former Clark Air Force Base that the U.S. continued to use until Mt. Pinatubo erupted and covered it in ash. We have discussed bolos from Apalit before and you can find those discussions by using the Search Function and entering Apalit. It is interesting that your bolo is marked APALIT over MA. I have a very similarly marked bolo but it has APALIT over EB (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18769). These could be maker's initials.

The small dagger is also interesting. It is the youngest of the three IMO, and probably dates from the 1950s or a little later. The horses head is a popular Filipino motif, but not commonly seen on knives from Central Luzon. The triangular shaped blade, with bevel on one side, might suggest a possible Visayan origin (Cebu?). However, I am more inclined to ascribe this knife to an Ilocano craftsman. The Ilocano produce knives with similar blades to this one, and they occasionally use a horse's head on the hilt. The style of the brass cross guard and ferrule is also consistent with Ilocano work.

Thanks again for showing these interesting examples.

Ian.
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Old 1st March 2024, 10:18 PM   #11
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Apologies for Necro-ing an old thread, but I was digging through other old threads and found that one of these three (the one with the broken tip) had been discussed 11 or so years before it came into my hands!

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=452

We really are just caretakers of these blades; we do not own them, rather we have the privilege of holding onto them for a time.

Have fun, and stay humble,
Leif
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Old 3rd March 2024, 04:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard View Post
Apologies for Necro-ing an old thread, but I was digging through other old threads and found that one of these three (the one with the broken tip) had been discussed 11 or so years before it came into my hands!

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=452

We really are just caretakers of these blades; we do not own them, rather we have the privilege of holding onto them for a time.

Have fun, and stay humble,
Leif
Halloo Leif,

It might interest you that the longest one in that triad may either be from Laguna OR Rizal. Pre-1900, Laguna and Rizal had fuzzy borders, hence the "OR" disclaimer.

Also, my Spanish collector-friends believe that particular hilt form is indicative of mid-1800s manufacture. I got a similarly-hilted itak with a different blade profile from a Spanish source.
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