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 25th September 2010, 05:48 PM   #1
mrwizard
Member
 
mrwizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Posts: 102
Default yet another Moro Kris

This is the piece that started my recent ethnographic arms addiction. I was listed as "old bush-knife" at an internet auction-platform with a rather bad picture (mobile-phone) and a description text that it was made shortly before or during WW2. I had seen pictures of keris before and a quick internet search revealed that this one might be of the moro kind. So, as the seller lived nearby (less than 5 miles) i thought "what the heck" and bid on it. Turned out i was the only one...
When i picked it up the seller, he is of Moro descent btw, told me that it belonged to his great-grandfather who used it during WW2. He was actually quite surprised that i identified the item as being moro.

But back to the sword:
It is 72 cm long, five luk, has no separate ganja and the blade seems to be pattern welded -- from what i learned from this forum quite typical for that time. The sword shows quite a lot of wear, there is some pitting from rust and there are several dents. Some of them have been wedged out so that it looks almost like the blade has an additional luk. This is certainly a user and not a status piece.

The scabbard is of wood covered with fine rattan and decorated with painted white metal plates (one seems to be missing). There is also a cloth wrapping that looks to be original.

Scabbard and hilt are covered with a clear lacquer. I'm sure this is not original and has been added later to preserve the item.

Sadly, the Wrongko is shattered and only held together by a metal wire. This looks to be a field repair.
I'm still unsure if i should restore the wrongko or leave it that way. After all if it is part of the swords history.
Attached Images
     
mrwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th September 2010, 07:25 PM   #2
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,519
Arrow

Just before WWII, or right after .
I have a very similar example .
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th September 2010, 08:00 PM   #3
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 5,942
Default

Good late example what shows a lot of wear. Nice with the cloth on the sheath. When it would be mine I would try to fix the wrongko and will let it like this. The blade I would clean better and give it a etch.

Regards,

Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th September 2010, 08:12 PM   #4
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,519
Smile

If it were mine I would leave it alone; I can see the pattern fine and there seems to be no rust .

Don't touch the cloth wrap; there may be a anting anting in there; the fabric looks like a Poleng pattern .

That makes me wonder if this sword saw a few Japanese soldiers in its day .
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th September 2010, 10:16 PM   #5
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,659
Default

Not sure if the mouth at the ganga still applies like the old days, but if it does I would think it might indicate a Maguindanao make. This plus what I can tell of the cloth wrap makes this a definite Maguindanao origin.

I once had a similar piece but of Sulu origin (now belongs to my father, a full blood Tagalog).

Nice piece. The wranga, I don't know. As long as it is stable.......

Keep the cloth wrap just as it is - it was meant to be this way and itself may be the anting-anting.

Oh the stories it could tell........
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th September 2010, 11:02 PM   #6
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,519
Smile

How about the age/era Jose ?

What do you think ?
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 06:20 AM   #7
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,659
Default

I'd say WWII at the earliest. Looks like 1940s-1950s.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 02:59 PM   #8
mrwizard
Member
 
mrwizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Posts: 102
Default

Thanks for all the input.
I never had the intention to mess with the cloth wrap
and your remarks that it might be (or contain) an
anting anting reinforces that intention.
This also means that i would be very difficult to fix the wrongko, as some of the damage is right under the
cloth wrap. I think i will leave the scabbard alone for now.

For the sword: The blade was in a rather good condition when i got it (see first picture). There was some rust
and dried dirt/oil at the base of the blade. Mostly near the asang-asang. Therefore i *carefully* cleaned the blade
according the advice found in this forum. The result can be seen in the last two pictures.
Further cleaning would mean using abrasive cleaning as even the smaller pitting goes as deep as 10-15 microns
(optical measurement with a microscope).
The deep ones go up to 500 microns. Removing them would most likely damage the carvings on the blade.
I don't want to go there. After all it's an old blade and should be allowed to look like one.

However i still think about removing the lacquer from the hilt. It is already quite brittle and has fallen of in some locations.
Does anyone have an idea what material the black gripping area of the hilt could be made of? Looks like rattan covered with tar.
Attached Images
 
mrwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 03:41 PM   #9
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 5,942
Default

Try carefully with acetone at a unvisible place. About cleaning the blade: I haven't look very well, the blade is clean enough. I have had looked only to the first picture when I give the advice to clean the blade better.

Regards,

Detlef
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 03:59 PM   #10
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: England UK.
Posts: 5,234
Default

A word of caution. The fact that the lacquer is brittle would suggest that it is a local plant or tree resin lacquer rather than "POLYURETHANE" Just the melting of tree resin over a low heat and painting on will look like this. So I think I would leave it.
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 04:46 PM   #11
mrwizard
Member
 
mrwizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Posts: 102
Default

@sajen Using Acetone in this case is probably not a good idea. First i don't know what the black stuff is. Chances are that contact with acetone will create a big mess. Second, while acetone doesn't attack wood it might attack whatever oil was used to stain the wood and thus change the stain.
Third if the acetone solves the lacquer i will have a sticky laqcuer solution on the hilt that might be harder to remove than the brittle lacquer.


@Tim you are probably right. "POLYURETHANE" wouldn't be as brittle like this and it has light yellowish color. My first guess would be that it is a thick layer of varnish based on lineseed oil.

But as brittle as it is, i can easily scratch it of with my fingernail and use a needle for the carvings. The wooden area would not be the problem. I'm unsure about the black area. Depending on what it is it might degrade without protection by the lacquer.
mrwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 04:58 PM   #12
Sajen
Member
 
Sajen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Germany, Dortmund
Posts: 5,942
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwizard
@sajen Using Acetone in this case is probably not a good idea. First i don't know what the black stuff is. Chances are that contact with acetone will create a big mess. Second, while acetone doesn't attack wood it might attack whatever oil was used to stain the wood and thus change the stain.
Third if the acetone solves the lacquer i will have a sticky laqcuer solution on the hilt that might be harder to remove than the brittle lacquer.



I have had in mind only the wooden part of the hilt.
Sajen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 05:08 PM   #13
Tim Simmons
Member
 
Tim Simmons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: England UK.
Posts: 5,234
Default

It is possible that the person that did this in the first place, thought it very cool !!! Nice and shiny and water repelent !
So who are we to say this is not right? I admit it is not how we as collectors want things to be. Like old masks before they were really old, were only snapped up by early collectors after they had been darkened. Again thats how collectors want things .
Tim Simmons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 06:56 PM   #14
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,519
Exclamation

Leave the wrap as it is; there is probably thin cotton string making up the wrap . I have seen this work with a dark green lac applied indiginously .
Don't mess with that .
http://www.arscives.com/historystee...s1/160-rb3a.jpg

The pommel ?
I offer the same advice .

Last edited by Rick : 26th September 2010 at 07:57 PM.
Rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 08:01 PM   #15
mrwizard
Member
 
mrwizard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Dortmund, Germany
Posts: 102
Default

@Tim & Rick
Good point. Until now i assumed that the lacquer had been added later on to preserve the hilt but you are of course
right it might as well be part of the original setup to
harden it against the local environment.

I will leave it as it this.

Amazing -- what i thought would be a lengthy
restoration project turned out as being rather short...

Best Regards and many thanks to all contributors,
Thilo
mrwizard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 08:33 PM   #16
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,659
Default

I would leave the grip and only add black lacquer (which I have bought at Lowe's) to what remains to maintain the integrity of the piece. I would do no more to the hilt than that.

The blade - actually looks good from here, why bother any more with it?
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th September 2010, 10:24 PM   #17
Rick
Member
 
Rick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,519
Thumbs up

Yep; and field repairs are part of the history of this sword .
My scabbard also shows repairs .
Rick 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 02:26 AM.


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.