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Old 24th October 2020, 11:49 PM   #1
cel7
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Default Unknown sabre

The mailman brought me this sabre today. Bought it because I find it an atractive looking sabre. The seller thought that it is Indonesian.
Unfortunately the guard is broken of fom the mouth of the bird.
Curious if anyone knows what it is exactly.
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Old 25th October 2020, 11:04 AM   #2
Peter Andeweg
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It's Javanese, worn by Keraton officials. Purely ceremonial and not ment for battle. They occasionally turn up on the market. All decorative features are typical for Java, the Garuda hilt and peacock on the scabbard are seen in the Yogya region.
It seems it has lost it's knucklebow.
I believe they date from the late 19th to early 20th century.

Best, Peter
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Old 25th October 2020, 11:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Andeweg
It's Javanese, worn by Keraton officials. Purely ceremonial and not ment for battle. They occasionally turn up on the market. All decorative features are typical for Java, the Garuda hilt and peacock on the scabbard are seen in the Yogya region.
It seems it has lost it's knucklebow.
I believe they date from the late 19th to early 20th century.

Best, Peter


Thanks Peter, couldn't find anything about it on the internet so I'm very happy with your answer!
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Old 26th October 2020, 12:15 PM   #4
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I had been searching online for a comparable example, but they are indeed hard to find. I noticed one example in a Facebook post, but was unable to find it.
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Old 27th October 2020, 07:52 AM   #5
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I think it's a fantasy sword with Japanese WWII features
The real sword should look like this
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Old 27th October 2020, 01:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I think it's a fantasy sword with Japanese WWII features
The real sword should look like this


I honestly doubt that. It's too well made to be a tourist sabre or something like that. Then the same sabre wouldappear more often.
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Old 27th October 2020, 04:07 PM   #7
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The bird on the scabbard looks Burmese, like my silver/bronze presentation dha with the royal phoenix/garuda:
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Old 28th October 2020, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I think it's a fantasy sword with Japanese WWII features
The real sword should look like this


Hmmm... this eagle pommel sword is a "shaver cool" sword.
The sticky thread is not working, but here is some info.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ght=shaver+kool
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Old 28th October 2020, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel7
I honestly doubt that. It's too well made to be a tourist sabre or something like that. Then the same sabre wouldappear more often.


Interesting : If it is well made it can't be for tourists ?
If it is well made and appears often it is a tourist item ?

I have never seen a sword like this before.
The craftmenship does not look like handwork to me.
The japanese features as mentioned are not a pre in my opinion.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 28th October 2020, 10:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Interesting : If it is well made it can't be for tourists ?
If it is well made and appears often it is a tourist item ?

I have never seen a sword like this before.
The craftmenship does not look like handwork to me.
The japanese features as mentioned are not a pre in my opinion.

Best regards,
Willem


I mean that if it was made for the tourist market, there would be several copies in circulation.
But I maybe i'm wrong and was it made for the tourist market after all.
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Old 29th October 2020, 12:01 AM   #11
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Do you have a picture of the complete weapon in the scabbard and out of the scabbard ?
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Old 29th October 2020, 12:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Do you have a picture of the complete weapon in the scabbard and out of the scabbard ?


Here are some extra pictures
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Old 29th October 2020, 08:16 AM   #13
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I don't like the word tourist, I think decorative would be better.
Question: do you have a sharp blade? The clip point blade is not Japanese.
About the argument
"tourist sabre or something like that. Then the same sabre would appear more often"
could be turn into
"real sword would appear more often"...
Is someone know if Japanese did such kind of swords?
Or if the Chinese did this kind of fantasy swords?
It's a nice sword btw
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Old 29th October 2020, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I don't like the word tourist, I think decorative would be better.
Question: do you have a sharp blade? The clip point blade is not Japanese.
About the argument
"tourist sabre or something like that. Then the same sabre would appear more often"
could be turn into
"real sword would appear more often"...
Is someone know if Japanese did such kind of swords?
Or if the Chinese did this kind of fantasy swords?
It's a nice sword btw


the blade is reasanobly sharp but not sharp enough to fillet a fish with .
Maybe we should indeed asume that it is a fantasy sword of some kind. Or someone must provide proof for a different explanation.
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Old 29th October 2020, 04:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubur
I don't like the word tourist, I think decorative would be better.
Question: do you have a sharp blade? The clip point blade is not Japanese.
About the argument
"tourist sabre or something like that. Then the same sabre would appear more often"
could be turn into
"real sword would appear more often"...
Is someone know if Japanese did such kind of swords?
Or if the Chinese did this kind of fantasy swords?
It's a nice sword btw

No one ever suggested this was a Japanese sword. Peter identified this as a JAVANESE sword. I'm not sure why everyone seems to have dismissed this notion. Peter is fairly well versed in Indonesian weapons. I believe he is probably correct, or it is at least Indonesian. I don't know for sure that it can be tied to keraton officials as i have not seen another one like this, but i don't think this is a "fantasy sword". The peacock at the top of the scabbard is indeed a known motif used often on pendoks for keris. The fanged face at the tip of the scabbard looks like a kala to me. The bird head pommel is most likely a garuda. Not any fantasy iconology at work here.
Clip point blades like this are well known to the area. This blade looks very much like a clip point klewang.
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Old 29th October 2020, 11:15 PM   #16
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It is the techniques, form and style that are puzzling me.

The casted hilt, rivited with 2 rivits
The scabbard of brass, made of 2 halves and soldered together
The kala (?) head at the bottom, also soldered
The screw at the bottom.
The japanese style blade. indeed with a clip point. but the overal impression to me is that of a katana.
The lock system, well where have I seen that before. again the katana.

The techniques suggest that it has been made in some kind of series, this is definately not a unique piece of hand work. I wonder if more turn up.
Keep an eye on ALiexpess
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Old 29th October 2020, 11:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
It is the techniques, form and style that are puzzling me.

The casted hilt, rivited with 2 rivits
The scabbard of brass, made of 2 halves and soldered together
The kala (?) head at the bottom, also soldered
The screw at the bottom.
The japanese style blade. indeed with a clip point. but the overal impression to me is that of a katana.
The lock system, well where have I seen that before. again the katana.

The techniques suggest that it has been made in some kind of series, this is definately not a unique piece of hand work. I wonder if more turn up.
Keep an eye on ALiexpess


Small correction. The scabbard is made out of one piece of brass, folded en soldered.
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Old 30th October 2020, 12:23 AM   #18
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The blade is not Japanese
only the habaki, the seppa (soldered or moulded to the guard that's strange)
and the lock system only on shin gunto
so the sword has to be post wwII
The rest is very Javanese as noted.
I will be curious if someone can explain this mystery...

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Old 30th October 2020, 01:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
The japanese style blade.

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Old 30th October 2020, 02:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
The japanese style blade. indeed with a clip point. but the overal impression to me is that of a katana.


A kantana? The blade reminds me much more of a Dutch Klewang, which were all over Indonesia for a time. Not a good functional one, of course, but as Peter suggested, this sword was probably more for dress than practical function.
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Old 30th October 2020, 03:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
... The blade reminds me much more of a Dutch Klewang, which were all over Indonesia for a time. Not a good functional one, of course, but as Peter suggested, this sword was probably more for dress than practical function.
Agree David. The blade looks modeled after the Dutch klewang, a sword used by the Dutch military in Indonesia from 1905 to 1941.
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Old 30th October 2020, 06:03 PM   #22
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This has been a most interesting discussion, and though outside my usual fields,and I have been learning from the entries here.
While I cannot add anything substantial, I would just agree, the terms fantasy or tourist are often a bit overused and misapplied with many ethnographic weapons.

With this interesting, and in my opinion attractive sword, it seems better made and viable than commercial souvenir type items, and more like something that would be worn by either civil officials ceremonially or perhaps fraternal type organizations. However it would seem that some symbolic motif or initials would be present in those cases.

The reference to 'Japanese style' features I believe (as already suggested) apply to the habaki and mounts as seen in the image I found online.

The 'Shaver Cool' reference was to the Dutch sword with VOC applications that brought one of the longest running discussions here, a historic discourse that brought playful groans for years to follow.
The Dutch East India Company did produce swords etc. that became souvenirs as well as in use in varying degree ceremonially.

On this sword, it does seem that the blade has a resemblance to the Dutch 'klewang', which was a 'cutlass' used by the Netherlands 1905-41. The tip of the blade has a characteristic 'clipped point', a feature which would not seem to be used on a souvenir item, though of course could be if that much detail was desired.

The faces are similar to those on some pedang suduk (attached photos) from Java, and it is fascinating that these, the noted Burmese features and Japanese character are melded together in a sword with klewang type blade.

The Dutch klewang is a sword (cutlass) with intriguing history, written on by Carter Rila, "A Modern Mystery: Cutlass or Klewang? The Elusive U.S. Navy Cutlass Variant of WWII"
'Journal of the Company of Military Historians"
Vol.27, #4, Winter, 1975

Apparently these Dutch 'cutlasses' were copied by an Ohio company in WWII (1942) for the U.S. Navy.

It seems these kinds of influences not only affected the swords for the private uses suggested with this one, but for further military use as well.
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Old 31st October 2020, 02:20 AM   #23
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Default Dutch Klewang usage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
...the Dutch klewang, a sword used by the Dutch military in Indonesia from 1905 to 1941.


Hello, I also see similarities with the Dutch klewang blades except for the clipped tip; this one seems straight as the Dutch klewang has more a "Beak" shape.
About the time period: this is an impressive period from 1898 until the last action in (Papua) New Guinea in 1962.

A quote from the "Klewang, catalogue of the Dutch army museum, page 190"

"...When Indonesia won independence at the end of 1949, the western part of New Guinea remained in Dutch hands" The handover to Indonesia was in 1962

another quote from the same page:
"...during patrols and on guard duties all military wore klewangs..."

Kind regards,
Ron de Ruiter
Dutch klewang collector

PS: The authors of the klewang catalogue referred to the book "New Guinea" by J.J. Notier (1997) as a source
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Old 31st October 2020, 07:03 PM   #24
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The dutch Hembrug klewang has been discussed in great depth here earlier, "Search" is your friend. It is a short sabre or cutlass designed for jungle warfare in Indonesia. US Marines also used them for jungle warfare in the pacific.

I see very little resemblance to the Hembrug, Solingen, or Milsco versions made to the same exact blueprints and used by The USA, Germans, and the Japanese in WW2. The point style is very klewangy in general, much like other non-dutch klewangs. Dutch swords seem to like clipped points. the Hembrug cutlass and it's descendants has a broad central fuller and a sharp false edge on the clipped area. Is the OP's false edge sharpened? If you call them klewang variants, we need to call 'Bowie' knives Klewangs as well. I've always considered my dutchy a long bowie.
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Old 1st November 2020, 03:08 PM   #25
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It is true that this locking mechanism can be found on japanese WW2 gunto, but it is not uniquely or originally japanese. A quick search on naval dagger pictures shows that for example ze german kriegsmarine 1921 dagger had the exact same mechanism. Good ideas get copied, not surprising it also appears on an indonesian sword

kind regards,
Eric
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Old 1st November 2020, 03:45 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klop
It is true that this locking mechanism can be found on japanese WW2 gunto, but it is not uniquely or originally japanese. A quick search on naval dagger pictures shows that for example ze german kriegsmarine 1921 dagger had the exact same mechanism. Good ideas get copied, not surprising it also appears on an indonesian sword

kind regards,
Eric


Eric you are right plus Germans and Japanese were good friends during WWII...
The problem is locking mechanism, plus the habaki plus the seppa.
Das ist sehr much.

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Old 1st November 2020, 08:18 PM   #27
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Thank you all for your excellent ideas and comments.

Could it be just a sabre that was commissioned for someone, or is does the construction and execution make you think of larger numbers?
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Old 1st November 2020, 09:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klop
It is true that this locking mechanism can be found on japanese WW2 gunto, but it is not uniquely or originally japanese. A quick search on naval dagger pictures shows that for example ze german kriegsmarine 1921 dagger had the exact same mechanism. Good ideas get copied, not surprising it also appears on an indonesian sword

kind regards,
Eric


The UK used a similar locking button on Prison guard hanger swords to help prevent it being snatched in passing by prisoners. the std. late 19c midshipman's dirk also had a locking device, tho not a button one.
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