Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 26th August 2005, 03:23 PM   #1
ariel
Member
 
ariel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 3,939
Default Strange Oriental sword

What is it?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...me=STRK:MEWA:IT
It looks like a "fusion" sword, although well-made.
The blade is European, with a clipped point liked by the Russians; the edge is strange: looks like it was pre-formed when the blade was made rather than resulting from sharpening. The scrimshawed handle looks Chinese but nicely attached. The absense of even rudimentary crossguard makes it less than comfortable for real fighting; more like a decorative renovation.
Any ideas? Did I miss an opportunity to get an ultimate " collector's dream"?
ariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 03:53 PM   #2
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Talking

To me it looks like something that might have been offered for sale to a GI during the post war American occupation of Japan .

Possibly a re-mounted Japanese war prize :
http://tinyurl.com/c5m3x

Perhaps even the ultimate in irony right down to the blued blade ; 1917 model US Navy cutlass :
http://tinyurl.com/ajfeg

I wonder if the new owner will post pics of it here ?

Last edited by Rick : 26th August 2005 at 04:16 PM. Reason: More info
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 04:06 PM   #3
Andrew
Vikingsword Staff
 
Andrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,724
Wink

This looks like an extremely rare and valuable sword. There's a similar one for sale here:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=1079


Andrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 04:18 PM   #4
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Talking

I see you survived Katrina Andrew .
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 04:27 PM   #5
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Hi Andrew,

Neat link, but I'm not sure I agree. The one you linked to is definitely Chinese. I'm not so sure about this one.

My inexpert diagnosis is that

a) it's a western saber blade of some sort, as Ariel suggested. The clip tip and deep fuller really don't look Chinese.

b) someone (not necessarily Chinese!) riveted a bone handle to it. Thing is, I could do a handle decoration similar to that with a soldering iron. While I agree that it's a Chinese theme, the lack of any Chinese fittings on the blade should be sending up warning flags. I don't know of any Chinese swords where the blade is riveted to the handle, either.

My suggestion is that this was someone's art project, either from Europe or the US. It's certainly cool as art, but that's as far as I would go.

Since "dhaguy" bought it, I wonder which of the "dhafia" will be able to enlighten us on this blade?

F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 04:50 PM   #6
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Posts: 2,068
Default

Ariel:

I had intended to post pictures of this one side-by-side with an example of the original sword from which it was derived.

The blade comes from a Dutch Colonial military saber issued in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) during the first half of the 20th C. I have one of these complete with scabbard and will try to post pictures over the weekend (time permitting). Edit: Actually, Rick has already posted links to pics of a Dutch "klewang" saber, and mine is identical to the pictures he linked to.

The handle appears to be a Japanese refit, perhaps WWII vintage, as suggested. I thought it was likely a souvenir collected in Indonesia by a Japanese military person during WWII.

Ian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
What is it?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...me=STRK:MEWA:IT
It looks like a "fusion" sword, although well-made.
The blade is European, with a clipped point liked by the Russians; the edge is strange: looks like it was pre-formed when the blade was made rather than resulting from sharpening. The scrimshawed handle looks Chinese but nicely attached. The absense of even rudimentary crossguard makes it less than comfortable for real fighting; more like a decorative renovation.
Any ideas? Did I miss an opportunity to get an ultimate " collector's dream"?
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 04:52 PM   #7
not2sharp
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 199
Default

That is a US model 1917 cutlass remounted with a decorated bone handle. These swords were still standard equipment on older ships during WWII.

You can see pictures of original examples here:
http://arms2armor.com/Swords/1917var1.htm

n2s
not2sharp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 05:57 PM   #8
Ferguson
Member
 
Ferguson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Kernersville, NC, USA
Posts: 748
Send a message via AIM to Ferguson
Default

The hilt looks like it's held on with roll pins. The spring type shaped like a "C". Not even rivets.

Steve
Attached Images
 
Ferguson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 06:51 PM   #9
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Excellent point, Ferguson. Here's another question: do roll pins give us a clue as to who assembled this weapon?

F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 09:07 PM   #10
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Ian is right. It is a KNIL-sabre, used by the dutch army in Indonesia. It is not a US cutlass.

I have one too. The pictures are not great. But this is how the original sabre looks like.
Attached Images
  
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 09:27 PM   #11
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Talking Five Bucks

Says it's a US 1917 Henk .
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2005, 09:49 PM   #12
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Ummm, if you believe Not2Sharp's website, the Dutch and US weapons are essentially identical. Rick and Henk, how do you want to settle that bet again?



F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 02:19 AM   #13
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearn
Ummm, if you believe Not2Sharp's website, the Dutch and US weapons are essentially identical. Rick and Henk, how do you want to settle that bet again?



F


Ahh , you got the Joke !
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 02:38 AM   #14
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Default

SEEMS LIKE I REMEMBER A LOT OF THESE BLADES SHOWING UP IN SHOTGUN NEWS BACK IN THE 70'S, THE PRICE WAS LOW BUT I DIDN'T BUY ANY AND REGRETTED IT LATER.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 04:13 AM   #15
Andrew
Vikingsword Staff
 
Andrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 1,724
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I see you survived Katrina Andrew .



We're all good, Rick.

Internet access is spotty, though.
Andrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 04:41 AM   #16
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Good to hear Andrew.

Rick,

You mean that I don't get to read you and Henk arguing for two pages just to settle that bet? I'm soooooooooo disappointed

F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 06:02 AM   #17
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Posts: 2,068
Smile The plot thickens ...

as we delve deeper into the relationship between the Dutch klewang and the M1917 US Cutlass.

It appears that the Dutch klewang debuted in 1898, and that the M1917 US Cutlass copied the blade style exactly. There is even a M1941 US Cutlass that used the same cut out hilt as found on the Dutch version, and is indistinguishable from it.

A helpful, but brief article on these swords, by Rick Wagner can be found here http://www.angelfire.com/wa/swordcollector/cutlass.html and it has some relevance to the present discussion in that it describes the use of Dutch klewang by occupying Japanese forces during WWII.

Who wins the debate? Well I guess Henk does, because the US cutlass is a copy of the Dutch klewang, so all versions are derivative of the original.

BTW, our own Carter Rila wrote an article on the Dutch klewang and its adoption by the US in 1917.

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 09:04 AM   #18
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 01:38 PM   #19
fearn
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,247
Default

Congrats, Henk!

Thanks, Ian! To me, it's more interesting that the blade was made for the US Military up to 1956, and its last use was in ROTC and ceremonial duty. Personally, I still think that someone in the US cobbled this thing together as a do-it-yourself project. I mean, not even rivetting those bone slabs on? Have you ever seen Japanese work that sloppy?

F
fearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 03:46 PM   #20
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,531
Talking

You win Henk .
Attached Images
     
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 04:45 PM   #21
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Posts: 2,068
Default Dutch Klewang

Pictures of a Dutch Klewang.
Attached Images
    
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th August 2005, 07:10 PM   #22
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Thanks guys.

Nice klewang, Ian. Is it marked? It is a dutch one, definitely.
Mine is marked MILSCO.

This one is the replacement for the one I sold years ago. That one was a reasembled one. The hilt was rudely remade and the basket was from an indian tourist sabre. The scabbard was gone too. But it was marked HEMBRUG, THE dutch army factory for sabres and daggers.
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2005, 12:37 AM   #23
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Posts: 2,068
Default

Hi Henk:

No markings on the sword or scabbard.

BTW, MILSCO stands for Military Supply Company, a US supplier of the M1941 cutlass.

Ian.
Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th August 2005, 07:20 AM   #24
Henk
Member
 
Henk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,172
Default

Hi Ian,

Thanks for explaining MILSCO, I didn't know. Always learning here .

If MILSCO is on it, it is an US manufactured sabre, I suppose. I do remember looking in a book about the history of the dutch klewang in the KNIL-army, that the dutch army used several types of the klewang.

I didn't buy the book. It was on the Pasar Malam Besar in The Hague, a large oriental market here in the Netherlands, originally started for the Indonesian people here, but nowadays it is more a cultural event.

But I do remember the chapter about the Klewang type M1941. It was mentioned as a KNIL-sabre. Probably the dutch army took and used the american cutlass after WW II for the army in Indonesia because of a lack of weapons in those days.
Henk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2005, 09:32 PM   #25
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Little House on the Prairie
Posts: 2,068
Default Pictures

Here are pictures of the modified sword that started off this thread (center), together with a Dutch klewang (top), and an Indonesian sword from Tjikeroeh in western Java (bottom).

The latter is clearly based on the design of the Dutch klewang, but with some variation in the blade and hilt. It is named and dated at forte.

I agree that the modified sword is probably of fairly recent assembly and most likely put together by a Westerner. A large amount of epoxy glue has been used to attach the handle scales, and the ends of the handle have spacers of a black plastic material. The scales do appear to be bone. The presence of roll pins to attach the scales has been noted previously. Comparing it to an original klewang, I don't think the tang has been cut down. The blade has been sharpened and has been reblued.

Ian.




Ian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 07:51 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.