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Old 28th July 2005, 01:40 AM   #1
kai
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Default Evidence for fake Moro Kris / Keris Sundang?

Are there any fake Moro Kris which have been verified? (I'm excluding later Kris without separate gangya since these are not antique anyway. And also the Indian wannabees are easy to spot...)

I gather that there will be exceptions to the general rule of thumb for assessing the age of a Kris (Keris Sundang) based on the gangya configuration. It's also stipulated that fittings have often been swapped between blades. Recently, I've even seen Kris blades fitted with brass hilts which seemed to be a recent marriage... (While this has most likely been done to enhance sales and the latter example pretty much stretches it, I'd not consider this faking per se since the age of the piece hasn't been intentionally misrepresented.

However, given that for just about anything else there are many fake "antiques" being manufactured in the Philippines (and elsewhere!), I'd have expected that people start forging new kris with separate gangya again (and artificially age them). Any observations?

Regards,
Kai

Last edited by kai : 28th July 2005 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Removed link not pertinent to the general question
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Old 28th July 2005, 03:27 AM   #2
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Exclamation Caution

Please refrain from discussing here any item that is listed, or may be relisted shortly, on eBay.

Ian.
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Old 28th July 2005, 03:40 AM   #3
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THE ART OF PRODUCING FAKE OBJECTS GOES WAY BACK AND PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING OF HIGH VALUE OR DEMAND HAS BEEN FAKED OR WILL BE. FORTUNATELY MOST PEOPLE WHO DO THE FAKEING EITHER CUT CORNERS AND DO A POOR JOB OF REPRODUCING THE OBJECT OR JUST GET SOMETHING AND MISREPRESENT IT AS RARE AND VALUEABLE. THEY USUALLY ARE LOOKING FOR A EASY SCORE AND DON'T WANT TO PUT TOO MUCH WORK OR MONEY INTO THE SCAM. BUYING SOMETHING BASED ONLY ON A POOR PICTURE AND DESCRIPTION, THEN SENDING THE MONEY FIRST TO A STRANGER IN ANOTHER PART OF THE COUNTRY OR WORLD PUTS THE BUYER AT A TREMENDOUS DISADVANTAGE. IT IS SURPRIZING THAT EBAY USUALLY WORKS AS WELL AS IT DOES, BUT YOU CAN BE SURE THE PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A EASY BUCK WILL BE CHECKING OUT NEW WAYS TO WORK THEIR SCAMS AND IF SUCESSFUL WILL BECOME MORE NUMEROUS IN FUTURE. THE GOOD THING IS THERE ARE MANY DEALERS ON EBAY WHO ARE FAIR AND HONEST SO IF YOU KNOW THEM OR SOMEONE WHO HAS DONE BUSINESS WITH THEM IT IS USUALLY OK, BUT AS IN LIFE BEWARE OF STRANGERS!

THERE ARE STILL WEAPONS BEING MADE IN SEVERAL AREAS OF THE WORLD, FOR SOUVINEERS, COLLECTORS, MARTIAL ARTS AND USE. THEY RANGE FROM JUNK TO AS GOOD AS THERE EVER WAS, A VERY GOOD CRAFSTMAN USUALLY IS PROUD OF HIS WORK AND WILL NOT SELL IT FOR SOMETHING ITS NOT BUT WILL CHARGE A GOOD PRICE. SUPERIOR RECENT WORK IS OFTEN MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A ANTIQUE BUT AS IN THE PAST IT IS ALWAYS EXPENSIVE TO BUY A MASTERPIECE FROM THE MASTER.
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Old 28th July 2005, 05:16 AM   #4
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Most common method of faking that is popping up right now in Moro kris, are old blades new fittings. Usually missing the asang-asang, lots of dirt on the hilts, black blade, etc... Essentially the blade tends to have that buried look, and fittings tend to also be very very dirty. These can be hard to identify, especially when done right, there is enough old parts to make wishful collectors turn a blind eye. There are however a couple tells that pop up. A. the seller story These are most commonly sold by antique dealers in PI, and the story is invariably the same, and generally the sword's origins are extravagent eg. its a datu piece or its X years old etc... In many cases where the blade is old, but the fittings are of nicer quality, this can be real hard to tell particularly when held in the hand. B. the frequency that X datu piece of the exact same style just seems to pop up in numerous locations in large numbers. With a little common sense, what is the odds of 5 of the exact same style, design, local, story kris ending up in the same shop, particularly if they are old family heirlooms of considerable age. Even the best reputable dealers, rarely get two swords in stock that are the same style, numerous pieces that look exactly the same, and all happen to be in the same shop, well.... C. modern parts/construction methods, like modern epoxies, solid fittings, etc... Can be hard to see under all the dirt, but once cleaned will be visible

The next most common fakes that get pushed in antiques markets are new swords, pawned off as old. These often get the tourist label stamped on them here on the forums, but in certain well many cases this is not warranted. These are the most common on Ebay and other such places, and usually have vague references to age. A few sellers are honest about them, and the quality of the blades/fittings can be quite high. I have not sold my newer pieces, partly because the okir work is so wonderfully done, they make great study pieces for okir. Just dont buy the stories that they are old. With these pieces, the whole fake aspect comes in the story of the seller, and not necessarily that the piece was made with the intention of being passed off as a fake.

As for swapping old parts, changing blades, etc... Well it happens, and many times it is no indication of fake or not. Repairs get done. Sometimes gangyas/blades get damaged, and repaired. When done right, most here cannot detect a period repair, and even then there is alot of controversy. Anyways, cant comment much further until the other thread opens up.
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Old 28th July 2005, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Please refrain from discussing here any item that is listed, or may be relisted shortly, on eBay.


Just to clarify: I opened this new thread to discuss the situation in general and not any specific piece. However, it would be great if people were to post pics from their own collections to illustrate points being discussed. TIA!
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Old 28th July 2005, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill
Spunger, Agree that the straight gangya line means a really old blade; for the few really old blades I have the gangya is very narrow ... & the file work is minimal on the guard side, as well, fully defined curves rather than waves.


Hi, Bill, could you please show us pics of these gangya? Pretty please...



ian, i hope i'm not breaking any rules but if i am, my apologies and please feel free to delete this reply.

hi kai,

read this query on the other thread.
anyway, i have one that has a narrow gangya. i'm not sure if this is what bill meant but he estimated this particular one to be around 175 years. hope this helps.
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Old 28th July 2005, 03:16 PM   #7
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Exclamation So far, so good ... but ...

::groan:: You guys really know how to give your conscientious moderators heartache.

All I ask is that everyone refrain from making reference to on-going auctions (which includes making sure an item isn't in an active auction before you post about it -- that is your responsibility). So far this is a nice, academic thread, but its tetering on the edge, so please be ... well, careful. This is a weird situation because there is an ended auction, so discussion was rightly started, but it might re-list -- a case of first impression as we lawyers say.

This isn't an issue of censorship or whatever (or of course criticism). Its just that we have this policy and we want to apply it consistently and fairly. It does get hard sometimes being the cop when you want to just hang out with the guys, too, so we need your help.

Thanks!
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Old 29th July 2005, 12:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Bowditch
So far this is a nice, academic thread, but its tetering on the edge, so please be ... well, careful.


I'd like to keep it focused on established fakes and suitable tell-tale signs, too. Thanks!
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Old 29th July 2005, 12:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
anyway, i have one that has a narrow gangya. i'm not sure if this is what bill meant but he estimated this particular one to be around 175 years. hope this helps.


Thanks for the pics, Spunjer! However, your nice kris isn't a fake (AFAI can tell... ) so we probably should start a separate thread to keep this discussion focused on fakes.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th July 2005, 12:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
THERE ARE STILL WEAPONS BEING MADE IN SEVERAL AREAS OF THE WORLD, FOR SOUVINEERS, COLLECTORS, MARTIAL ARTS AND USE. THEY RANGE FROM JUNK TO AS GOOD AS THERE EVER WAS, A VERY GOOD CRAFSTMAN USUALLY IS PROUD OF HIS WORK AND WILL NOT SELL IT FOR SOMETHING ITS NOT BUT WILL CHARGE A GOOD PRICE. SUPERIOR RECENT WORK IS OFTEN MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A ANTIQUE BUT AS IN THE PAST IT IS ALWAYS EXPENSIVE TO BUY A MASTERPIECE FROM THE MASTER.


Hi Vandoo,

I guess I share your ebay sentiments.

We probably need to keep in mind that good weapons used to be (very) expensive - often approaching prices comparable to an expensive car.

Considering this, those of us with pretty limited resources are lucky to even own a single nice blade much less building up decent collections...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th July 2005, 01:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Federico
Most common method of faking that is popping up right now in Moro kris, are old blades new fittings. Usually missing the asang-asang, lots of dirt on the hilts, black blade, etc... Essentially the blade tends to have that buried look, and fittings tend to also be very very dirty. These can be hard to identify, especially when done right, there is enough old parts to make wishful collectors turn a blind eye. There are however a couple tells that pop up. A. the seller story These are most commonly sold by antique dealers in PI, and the story is invariably the same, and generally the sword's origins are extravagent eg. its a datu piece or its X years old etc... In many cases where the blade is old, but the fittings are of nicer quality, this can be real hard to tell particularly when held in the hand. B. the frequency that X datu piece of the exact same style just seems to pop up in numerous locations in large numbers. With a little common sense, what is the odds of 5 of the exact same style, design, local, story kris ending up in the same shop, particularly if they are old family heirlooms of considerable age. Even the best reputable dealers, rarely get two swords in stock that are the same style, numerous pieces that look exactly the same, and all happen to be in the same shop, well.... C. modern parts/construction methods, like modern epoxies, solid fittings, etc... Can be hard to see under all the dirt, but once cleaned will be visible

Thanks, Federico!

Quote:
The next most common fakes that get pushed in antiques markets are new swords, pawned off as old. These often get the tourist label stamped on them here on the forums, but in certain well many cases this is not warranted.

The real tourist pieces seem invariably come with those shortcuts mentioned - they just don't look right...

Quote:
These are the most common on Ebay and other such places, and usually have vague references to age. A few sellers are honest about them, and the quality of the blades/fittings can be quite high. I have not sold my newer pieces, partly because the okir work is so wonderfully done, they make great study pieces for okir. Just dont buy the stories that they are old. With these pieces, the whole fake aspect comes in the story of the seller, and not necessarily that the piece was made with the intention of being passed off as a fake.

Yup, especially the newer gunongs often come with elaborate fittings & okir. However, newer kris always seem to come with integral gangya or are there new examples with separate ones?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th July 2005, 06:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
However, newer kris always seem to come with integral gangya or are there new examples with separate ones?

Regards,
Kai

I personally havent seen a newly "Moro" made kris with a separate gangya since the demarkation line of circa 1930s. By that point in time even collectors back then started noticing the trend, as can be evidenced in period writing regarding these weapons (Im thinking its either in Stones or Hutchings where the author makes the comment that lately the gangyas have not been separate but then its been a while since Ive done much reading on the subject). Now, the caveat of I have not seen recently made "Moro" kris with separate gangyas is that newly made Indo/Malay kris sundang do have separate gangyas still, and in the context of faking, if an unscrupulous seller decided to call it Moro in an attempt to pass it off as older, then there is that possibility. As for how to tell newly made or even old Indo/Malay kris sundang vs Moro kris, well that is a topic that we've debated often here to no clear agreement.
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Old 29th July 2005, 04:46 PM   #13
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Haven't seen any blades that appear to be fakes, but as noted, there is a lot that have added fittings to increase the value. There has always been a lot of discussion on this forum on restoration v preservation. I think that when one has a exceptional piece, but in poor condition, it is better to preserve. If it is a 1900 kris missing its baca-baca & the hilt is missing the wrap, I see no reason not to restore it, as its original owners would, as long as it is done in the same manner that it was made. When the piece is upgraded, only to increase its value, I think the piece is ruined. I think many of us are likely to own Datu pieces without realizing it. There were many Datu, & for the most part thier swords were most likely very simular to the people they governed. I think a Datu could be compared to 1st level management in todays corporate world. They usually had little input to policy but were required to follow commands given to them; & still having to look out for the interest & demands of the people they led. When times were good, they prospered & could afford to commision an exceptional sword; but I think that would be less common then we imagine.
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Old 29th July 2005, 05:12 PM   #14
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Default I Wonder

When will the first Chinese copy show up ?

Or could it be that a good Moro kris is too labor intensive to produce cheaply ?

I believe that Indo-Malay sundang are currently being made in Madura but these seem to make no pretensions of being Moro and they are always acid etched .
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Old 30th July 2005, 12:57 PM   #15
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Well (being a deep subject and all ) there are some companies that have been making copies of Moro kris for a few years, ie. Kris Cutlery, Museum Replicas, India, etc. These companies state that these are repos and not the originals. As far as China is concerned.........
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Old 30th July 2005, 03:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Well (being a deep subject and all ) there are some companies that have been making copies of Moro kris for a few years, ie. Kris Cutlery, Museum Replicas, India, etc. These companies state that these are repos and not the originals. As far as China is concerned.........


Of course , I had forgotten KC and MRL , I haven't seen the 'India' examples ; can you provide a link ?
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Old 30th July 2005, 08:47 PM   #17
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No, but a few years ago I saw one in a catalog. If I find it again, I'll let you know. I'm pretty sure it was made by Windless.
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Old 31st July 2005, 02:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
No, but a few years ago I saw one in a catalog. If I find it again, I'll let you know. I'm pretty sure it was made by Windless.


Battara

I remember those kris one was straight the other with luks and they seemed quite nice for repros.

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Old 31st July 2005, 02:52 AM   #19
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Question

Separate gangyas on the Indian stuff ?

My criteria is that if it is not made within the culture then it is either an interpretation or copy .

I believe Cecil's are made in country (Philippines), but are they interpretations because most likely they were made by Christian Filipinos rather than Muslims ?
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Old 31st July 2005, 02:01 PM   #20
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the top one was made in india, by windlass, via atlanta cutlery. sorry, no gangya...



incidentally, there was a similar repro on one of the online antique shop trying to pass this as "an old indonesian chief kris".
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Old 31st July 2005, 11:53 PM   #21
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Here is (IMNSHO) another Indian one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...item=7335765380
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Old 1st August 2005, 01:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
My criteria is that if it is not made within the culture then it is either an interpretation or copy .

Hi Rick,

I guess you make exceptions if a member from another ethnic group goes through the proper training (within the culture) and continues faithfully the (once indigenous) forging tradition? (IIRC a few western bladesmiths claim to have received traditional Japanese sword forging skills.)


Quote:
I believe Cecil's are made in country (Philippines), but are they interpretations because most likely they were made by Christian Filipinos rather than Muslims ?

http://www.kriscutlery.com/philippi...ex_sundang.html - rhetoric question?

IMVHO countries with many ethnic groups/tribes/peoples/religions/whatever have several cultures which may be as foreign to each other as some of them are to us.

I've never considered the usual keris-inspired blades (wether punal-sized or swords) from the northern Philippines to be Kris nor Keris.

However, there seem to be relatively faithful interpretations which I feel might qualify to be called Kris supposedly coming from non-Muslim Moro neighbors: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...item=7330603936

Any comments? What are the oldest examples of this type?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st August 2005, 01:46 AM   #23
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Hi Kai,

My best guess on the Visayan example you presented a link to is that it is indeed a Moro blade in Visayan dress .
Unfortunately the picture is miniscule .

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Old 1st August 2005, 04:35 AM   #24
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Quote:
Here is (IMNSHO) another Indian one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...item=7335765380


yup, that's the same exact one like mine, down to the scabbard...

here's an example of a visayan kris:

http://www.oriental-arms.com/photos.php?id=1300.


zelbone would be the man to answer your questions ...
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Old 1st August 2005, 12:06 PM   #25
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Hi everyone,

Been away from the forum for some due to a local dengue outbreak and a typhoon (that's 3rd world conditions for you.)

here's my question: if kris cutlery krises were to be available in the local market (here in zamboanga, basilan or jolo) will the tausugs buy them and keep them as they would a locally-made kris? i really doubt it. they would not even buy a yakan-made pira, how much more for a christian made reproduction.

kai, as to your question on whether there are newly made krises with separate gangyas, yes there are and the ones i have seen come from jolo and not basilan.

as to the datus, they would commission a kris or a barong whether times were good or bad. for a good sword is a status symbol and nothing is as important to a moro as showing of his status.
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Old 1st August 2005, 09:17 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboanga
kai, as to your question on whether there are newly made krises with separate gangyas, yes there are and the ones i have seen come from jolo and not basilan.


Thanks, that's important news! Do you have by any chance pics of these which you could post? Any tell-tale signs for these? TIA!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st August 2005, 09:22 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
here's an example of a visayan kris:
http://www.oriental-arms.com/photos.php?id=1300.


Hi Spunjer,

That's an example of those blades which I don't consider to be Kris (nor Keris Sundang). It's a nice Sundang/sword with a wavy blade but IMHO it doesn't have any of the characteristic features of a Moro Kris.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 2nd August 2005, 12:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
Hi Spunjer,

That's an example of those blades which I don't consider to be Kris (nor Keris Sundang). It's a nice Sundang/sword with a wavy blade but IMHO it doesn't have any of the characteristic features of a Moro Kris.

Regards,
Kai


well then, i think this thread might interest you :

http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001969.html
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Old 5th August 2005, 12:51 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboanga


kai, as to your question on whether there are newly made krises with separate gangyas, yes there are and the ones i have seen come from jolo and not basilan.


Would also be interested in seeing pics. Ive seen some pretty nice post WWII kris (ivory, pamor, etc...) come from Sulu, but none with separate gangyas. But then Ive seen alot of what I thought, and others (like Cecil Quirino) had thought re-hilted blades, old blade new Tausug fittings. Then I suppose we may have all been in the dark.
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Old 6th August 2005, 04:29 AM   #30
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Default Newly made boy's kris

From a friend's collection and not for sale. Newly made sulu piece specially commissioned for a child.

Separate gangya. 15.5 inches blade, 21 inches overall. with silver fittings.

It has a larger brother which I hope to have in due time.

I also have an older one (post ww2) with separate gangya but i cannot post it here in deference to forum rules.
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