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Old 14th January 2019, 11:21 AM   #1
Bill M
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Default #1603 Sultan Barong

Spunjer and his fabulous flock of barongs has motivated me to dig into our barongs. This morning is my best barong. Old ivory and a gold ferrule.

It is my understanding that the Muslim men are to eschew gold, that it makes men weak. The ferrule of this barong is gold.

One of my "experts" told me that this much gold is likely belonged to an important ruler who felt he was beyond the Sharia Law.

I have not researched this at all, but i use it to call this blade "Sultan Barong". I open the floor to opinions, both to the artifact and possibly the idea of Muslim men and wearing gold.

Women can wear gold and silk. but not the men. Possibly this Barong could have been made for a woman, but seems unlikely to me. I have had it for years and has never shown any tarnish.

https://www.speakingtree.in/allslid...ed-to-wear-gold

Overall length 23 inches - 58cm
Blade length 15 inches - 38 cm
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Old 14th January 2019, 11:51 AM   #2
Maurice
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Lovely barong.
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Old 14th January 2019, 02:10 PM   #3
drac2k
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Beautiful! To me, the most impressive feature is the wonderful and delicate carving of the handle; stunning!
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Old 14th January 2019, 10:41 PM   #4
Battara
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Another possibility is that the gold is not pure gold but heavily alloyed with silver in this case. This is not unheard of at all and in principle would be in the same category as swassa, thus abiding by the "no gold" rule.
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Old 15th January 2019, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Another possibility is that the gold is not pure gold but heavily alloyed with silver in this case. This is not unheard of at all and in principle would be in the same category as swassa, thus abiding by the "no gold" rule.


It could be. How can I tell? Can it be assayed without damage? I know nothing about how that is done.

If it was "heavily alloyed with silver" would it tarnish in some way? I have not polished it since I got it several years ago. Does swassa tarnish?

I may reach out to a previous owner who is quite knowledgeable and ask his opinion. Will let you know.

Good question! Thanks.
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Old 15th January 2019, 07:12 PM   #6
Battara
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Good questions. It looks like it alloyed with silver to me, but if it is still 14k, then it will tarnish some.........in 100 years or so.

Same with swassa, if 9k it will tarnish faster than 14k.

I am thinking yours is gold alloyed with silver instead of copper in 14k (I have a similar barong sleeve with the same mix of gold and silver and no tarnishing).

A jeweler can test to be sure (I've done that before without damage).
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Old 15th January 2019, 09:50 PM   #7
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what i find unique in your piece, Bill, is the flamboyant carving on the handle.
i also find it unusual that handle like yours tend to be made out of wood, but yours is ivory, a unique quality. on the other hand the flat top ones tend to be made out of ivory, rarely wood or carabao horn. i don't think this is random.

regarding alloyed with silver. did you remember the piece i picked up from eBay? that was tarnished so bad it was black, but as far as what you have there, and the one i posted (far right on the picture i posted), i don't believe it's heavily alloyed. much like yours, i haven't cleaned mine for a couple of years and yet it maintained it's luster. in the meantime, i can see the silver part was losing its shine
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Old 16th January 2019, 04:14 AM   #8
Oliver Pinchot
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As far as I am aware, Qur'an mentions gold only in Chapter 35, the Sura Fatir, Line 33, which refers strictly to the Faithful in Paradise:

[For them are] gardens of perpetual residence which they will enter. They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments therein will be silk.

Gold is only specifically forbidden in the noted Hadith which recounts that the Prophet Muhammad, holding gold in one hand and silk in the other, stated that these things are forbidden to men but permitted to women in his community.

This suggests one of two possibilities: that the Moros may have been adhering to Qur'anic scripture, but not Hadith - or- that they observed Hadith but did not consider gold parts of things, including weapons, quite the same as objects made entirely of gold. This would allow many uses for gold in terms of weapons: hilt parts, inscriptions, etc., while still following Islamic law, as they perceived it. This argument is also borne out by the great use of gilding on silver, copper and brass throughout the Dar al Islam, while solid gold is exceptionally uncommon.
It is highly unlikely any Moro, sultan or otherwise, would have "felt he was beyond the Sharia Law."

Last edited by Oliver Pinchot : 16th January 2019 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 16th January 2019, 05:15 AM   #9
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Bill,
Most good jewelers these days have machines allowing to assess the composition of the alloy without any destruction : capacitive decay, X-ray fluorescence etc.
I went several times to our local jeweler and they did it as a courtesy. Takes 5 seconds and is very accurate. As a matter of fact, they were thrilled to see antique weapons and asked me to bring them more stabbers and slashers:-)


I am sure your neighbor jeweler has one of those already.
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Old 16th January 2019, 10:40 PM   #10
Battara
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Bill you posted this barong years ago. Have you had the blade etched and polished since then?
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Old 17th January 2019, 01:33 AM   #11
Bill M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Bill you posted this barong years ago. Have you had the blade etched and polished since then?



Just a recent cleaning. Probably should etch the blade. Do you still use ferric chloride or is there a new solution?
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Old 17th January 2019, 06:25 AM   #12
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I like Nital, 1-2%

No rusty residual.
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Old 17th January 2019, 08:19 AM   #13
Sajen
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Hi Bill,

Very, very nice shandigan barong!

I use vinegar with very good results but the blade would need a better polish.

Regards,
Detlef
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