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Old 9th October 2018, 01:26 PM   #1
Roland_M
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Default Pedang with unusual point

Hello all,

according to Mr. Albert Zonneveld this is a Pedang III with an unusual downcurved point. My little dolphin-sword is thin, extremely sharp and light weighted.

I never saw such a point before on a blade. Surely there are types with a massive downcurved point like semi sickle-swords, but such a tiny downcurved point of two or three millimeters was new to me.

I tried this sword out with an old leather couch and i was pretty schocked. Without any force, fallen from a height of ~30cm and only by its own weight, it already causes deep cuts into thick leather. With light to medium power it produces extraoridnary deep cuts of some inches.
In my eyes this is a very good compromise between a straight cutting edge, combined with the penetrating power of a Kerambit, at the cost of thrusting ability. The point was forged in this shape, it is no result of extended grinding of the edge or so!
I also can say, that this sword saw massive combat over a long period.

The hardening is of very high quality, the sword got different zones of hardness from extremely hard at the middle part of the edge to a medium hardness on the back. The hardness of the point is between the edge and the back.

It is very high steel quality with an extremely fine forging pattern, without any signs of lamination after the grinding and polishing. The sword was in very bad condition and it was an attempt, whether such a blade is worth a restoration or not. I believe, it could be older than 200 years but i have nothing for comparrison.

I hope, someone can say more about this sword, especially other swords with a similar material would be of highest interest for me. I already have a sword with a quite similar pattern but i wish to hear, what the experts have to say, since i don't wanna disgrace myself.


Thanks for reading,
Roland
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Last edited by Roland_M : 9th October 2018 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 10th October 2018, 10:08 PM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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The blade form of this pedang is properly named as Pedang Sabet Kalawijan, it is a standard Javanese form, but with features that place it diluar pakem. The word "sabet" indicates that it is a slashing weapon, the word "kalawijan" indicates that it is diluar pakem, or in English , of a non-standard form, the characteristics that cause it to be non-standard are the features at the blade base which approximate a kembang kacang. The slightly hooked tip is not unusual in pedangs of the sabet classification, it is normally the result of sharpening or removal of an edge chip, it is not out of place in any Javanese slashing blade and echoes the bendo, a household tool as well as a weapon.

The differential tempering described is quite normal for any slashing weapon or tool in Indonesia, and is achieved by an edge down quench, rather than a point down quench, such as is usual in a stabbing weapon. Often the back of a blade like this is of different material to the edge, the edge being steel, the back being either plain iron, or in fine quality weapons, pamor, of course, this form of construction also ensures differential hardening with the consequent resistance to breakage.

The hilt is not a Javanese form and has been poorly mated to the blade, there should be no gap between the blade base and the hilt, this blade is only supported by the tang, it should be supported by the width of the blade in the ricasso area, this is achieved by sinking the blade base into the hilt a few millimetres when the hilt is mounted, or at very least, ensuring that the blade base is flush to the hilt. As is, this pedang could not be used in combat.

In my opinion this pedang is a marriage.

Sorry.

EDIT

Just a parting thought that might be of interest.
The word "kalawija" is a variation of "palawija".

"Palawija" has two meanings, it can refer to the dwarfs and physically deformed servants who were kept in Javanese Karatons, or it can refer to a second crop, the second crop being lesser than the first. In either case it can be applied to something else, especially a weapon, in the crop sense, as a weapon or tool that has been altered or re-manufactured, in the deformed person sense as a weapon that was of unacceptable form (in kraton terms, the Karaton being the authority on Pakem) from the very beginning.

There has been more than a little uninformed comment on the practice of keeping deformed persons as kraton servants and entertainers. In fact this was a form of social support:- in a society that had no room for people who were unable to work at normal jobs, and who by their very presence offended the eye, these deformed people were discriminated against and could not lead a normal life in the broader society. Thus, the ruler was fulfilling his duty to protect all his people by taking them into his kraton and giving these unfortunate people a useful life.

In traditional Javanese society the ruler had a duty of care to his people, just as the people within his realm had a duty to serve the ruler. It is the principle of "Kawula-Gusti", and the philosophy extends to the relationship between Mankind and God.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 10th October 2018 at 10:36 PM. Reason: background
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Old 11th October 2018, 04:04 PM   #3
Jens Nordlunde
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Alan, thank you very much for your 'EDIT', it is most interesting.
A better understanding of how they were thinking at the time - which logic they used - is very much asked for, but it is likely not easy to find.

Last edited by Jens Nordlunde : 11th October 2018 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 12th October 2018, 12:30 AM   #4
A. G. Maisey
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Actually Jens, this "lord : servant" line of thought permeates Javanese society until the present day, I can still see it active in many ways in Solonese society, but perhaps less so in some other parts of Jawa. For example, a servant who has given long service to a family more or less becomes part of the family, and when that person leaves the family service because of age or other necessity, is still considered a part of the family and assisted in time of need, even though no longer employed. That assistance might be a small pension or if this is not needed a more considerable assistance in the case of illness or other circumstance.

Similarly with a straight-out employee of a business, where that employment has extended over a lengthy period, the employee and his employer (if both are of a traditional frame of mind) will see a continuing obligation, one unto the other, even though the day-to-day employment has finished.

The idea of a defective person being related to a second rate crop produced in the dry season, can I believe, be seen in societies other than just Jawa, similar ideas applied to differing entities can be identified in languages other than Javanese.

I personally see both these things as an expression of the ideal patriarchal societal model:- the father has an obligation and a duty to support and assist the family : the family has an obligation and a duty to assist the father, thereby assisting and strengthening the family. This is then reflected in the nature of the broader society.

Of course, today we can see the dominant policy of societal management as division facilitated by a strategy of tension, thus many societies lack the cohesion that a patriarchal, or even a matriarchal philosophy can engender.

It can be quite enlightening to consider the strengths and weaknesses of differing societal models and compare one unto the other. Entertaining too, I guess.
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Old 12th October 2018, 04:05 PM   #5
Jens Nordlunde
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Thank you very much for the explanation.
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Old 12th October 2018, 07:45 PM   #6
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Hello Alan,

Thanks for your thoughts and the interesting remarks!

I do see the points you raised. Yet I am not convinced that this blade really is Jawa and, thus, out of pakem.

IMHO, it might rather be Sunda and examples with similar rough base features are known. Moreover, the somewhat thin base of the blade and the rather homogeneous material may point in this direction, too. Also the hilt style would suit this designation albeit being widely distributed across the archipelago.

Depending on the size and configuration of the tang (and originating culture), I have seen a wide array of hilt attachments in what appeared to be original configurations. In this chopping blade, the mating of the upper part of the tang/base seems more important than the lower ricasso area; what you describe is likely to reduce vibrations though. Actually, this blade feels solid when tapped - I havenít made test cuts though.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 12th October 2018, 09:29 PM   #7
A. G. Maisey
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Kai, this blade form, and with kembang kacang , is a known Javanese form. I do not know it as a Sundanese form. However, not being there at the time, I do not know where it was actually made. In the final analysis, it could have been made anywhere, but as a known Javanese form, my inclination is to place it as Javanese. If I place it as Javanese, then I appraise it as Javanese.

The tang will be found to be a stick tang, there can be no doubt of this. I have seen and handled more pedangs of the sabet form than I can remember. Where the blade has been in place for a long time, the base of the blade will be flush to the base of the hilt, or it will very slightly penetrate the base of the hilt. This is not design practice that is unique to Javanese weaponry, it is to be found as a universal feature throughout time and place. Ideally a slashing or chopping blade should have a full tang, but where technical limitations in manufacture or economics dictate a stick tang, then the base of the blade must be supported by the hilt. This is weapons design 101.

Still, we all have our own opinions, I have mine, you have yours, I won't debate the subject.
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Old 14th October 2018, 08:13 AM   #8
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I've been waiting for somebody to jump in and point out the obvious, but it looks like either everybody is asleep, or there is not much interest in this pedang. Pity, because I think it is quite interesting, not for the hooked point, which really doesn't grab my interest much, but for the blade form with kembang kacang.

In my previous post I appraised this as Javanese, and it is a known Javanese form.

Kai thinks it could be Sundanese, I do not know the blade form as Sundanese, I've never seen any examples of this blade form that could be inarguably given as Sundanese, but who knows, it might be Sundanese, as I have said I do not want to debate the subject, simply because we cannot know where it was made.

But I really did expect somebody to give the obvious alternative, and that is South Sumatera. Both the blade form and the hilt style are known in South Sumatera.

Since nobody else has given this obvious alternative, I'll give it myself.

Anybody know any other reasonable alternatives?
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Old 14th October 2018, 01:45 PM   #9
Sajen
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Hello Roland and all other contributors,

no Alan, there is interest like the visits show. I think that Rolands very specific queries could be the reason that not so much people contributed until now.

To the sword, the first I have to say is that Roland did an amazing job by restoring the blade, it was in a more as sad condition.

The idea from Alan that the handle could be not the first one is interesting, while I have seen few similar blades but not one with this handle style when I remember correct. Pedang blades with kembang kacang I know from Java, Sunda and Sumatra, see also this old thread from Charles where he has shown a great variety from pedangs of the Indonesian Archipelago: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...ighlight=pedang, see special example #14 which is very similar in blade shape to the one in question. This one from Charles seems from Sumatra.
When the handle is indeed not the first one it will be nearby that Roland and we all never will know the exact origin, sadly!

Roland, not all collectors restore their blades in such high quality so it may be difficult to find pictures of similar hardened Indonesian pedang blades.
But Alan give a good insight about this hardening.

Regards,
Detlef

Last edited by Sajen : 14th October 2018 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 14th October 2018, 02:14 PM   #10
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Indeed, Sumatra seemed so obvious to me that I thought it had already been said.
I have Sumatran's pedang with a close shape , but without the hook tip and with a much more basic handle.
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