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Old 28th June 2011, 01:34 AM   #31
Spunjer
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hello rick, you're right. the asang-asang has been pushed from the top, exposing the shadow line. at pic 7, the clamp is showned pushed back in line where the shadow's at.

jose: yes, the hilt is silver...

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Old 28th June 2011, 03:56 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Spunjer
well, therein lies the problem, david. what's your expectation of what a presentation piece would look like? i mentioned a provenanced piece on my earlier post, so i'm posting the dagger that was given to Lt. Col. Webb Hayes by Datu Piang. would you doubt that as well?

I'm not sure what my expectation is exactly. I have Moro weapons that have silver work from this time period. The gage of the silver tends to be thicker and the craftsmanship of the designs finer. Of course this doesn't mean that the same quality work would be presented to a foreign soldier. I honestly don't know what the custom would be here.
I am not questioning the entire piece mind you, not at all, simply the silver work. I believe the provenance of the plaque which is screwed to the sheath is true. I like the blade very much. Asking me if i doubt the gunong is apples and oranges. I see nothing suspicious to my eye there. A very interesting gunong btw. I think the provenance is fairly clear with the kris, but where was is since 1902? How many hands? How many collectors? So i do wonder if someone may have possibly restored this blade at some time in it's history as so many of our own members here seem to do when they receive a new acquisition needing some TLC. Do you know it's line of succession down to your hands? What did the person you got this from have to say about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
perhaps i'm missing something, or you see something that i don't, but what makes you think the asang-asang and the handle are not original?

The hilt and pommel may well be original, but as you have acknowledged to Rick, the asang-asang has been moved at some point, either moved or changed completely.
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Old 28th June 2011, 03:29 PM   #33
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Sadly, the new york times clip with the illustration of the sultan and the captain smiling as he was handing the kalis to him didn't come with it
But seriously, i have seen and held this particular kalis a month prior to acquiring it, even took some pics so i could take a good look at it. As far as the previous owner: he has been collecting since the early 60's. This particular piece has been with him for a long time. The gunong was an example to show you that a presentation piece need not to be a gold encrusted, junggayan ivory and other superlative type weapon, but rather it could just be something that we expect ti be of lesser quality. There's a b&w photo circulating in the 'net of three swords( i remembered one was an average barung) that was given by the same sultan to a reporter.
The probability of the hilt being exchanged sometimes after it was presented is possible, but the chance of whoever did that (for the sake of argument, say sometimes before the 70's) and exchanged it with a datu class pommel that is exclusively a Sulu Sultanate style is: a) he knew what the heck he was doing, or b) or one heck of a lucky guess. If we go by choice a), for what reason would he exchange it? I might not know much about moro weapons as much as you do, my friend, but i'm pretty confident that i think i know what i'm looking at, and i would like to think i'm wise enough to know what i'm getting into. As far as the asang-asang, it moved because as i have mentioned to rick, the clip was loose. Now, let me ask your expert opinion on this: is the asang-asang suppose to be air tight to the point where it's immovable on these type of kalis? You're really starting to worry me about being gyped into buying a supposedly an excellent provenanced and one of a kind piece....
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Old 28th June 2011, 04:22 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
Sadly, the new york times clip with the illustration of the sultan and the captain smiling as he was handing the kalis to him didn't come with it
But seriously, i have seen and held this particular kalis a month prior to acquiring it, even took some pics so i could take a good look at it. As far as the previous owner: he has been collecting since the early 60's. This particular piece has been with him for a long time. The gunong was an example to show you that a presentation piece need not to be a gold encrusted, junggayan ivory and other superlative type weapon, but rather it could just be something that we expect ti be of lesser quality. There's a b&w photo circulating in the 'net of three swords( i remembered one was an average barung) that was given by the same sultan to a reporter.
The probability of the hilt being exchanged sometimes after it was presented is possible, but the chance of whoever did that (for the sake of argument, say sometimes before the 70's) and exchanged it with a datu class pommel that is exclusively a Sulu Sultanate style is: a) he knew what the heck he was doing, or b) or one heck of a lucky guess. If we go by choice a), for what reason would he exchange it? I might not know much about moro weapons as much as you do, my friend, but i'm pretty confident that i think i know what i'm looking at, and i would like to think i'm wise enough to know what i'm getting into. As far as the asang-asang, it moved because as i have mentioned to rick, the clip was loose. Now, let me ask your expert opinion on this: is the asang-asang suppose to be air tight to the point where it's immovable on these type of kalis? You're really starting to worry me about being gyped into buying a supposedly an excellent provenanced and one of a kind piece....

Sadly Ron you are going far beyond my very simple questioning of the silver work on this hilt. So to be clear (and if you re-read my posts you will see that i have already been clear):
1. I do NOT doubt the provenance of this piece and never have. I do NOT believe you have been ripped off (gypped is an ethnic slur to be avoided IMO) and i do of course believe this is a nice one-of-a-kind item.
2. I questioned the movement of the asang-asang, but don't, as i have already stated, necessarily believe that the hilt has been changed. When i have seen previous shadow outlines on blades before it has usually indicated that the clamp had been changed at some time.
3. I am not now, nor have i ever implied that i am an "expert" on these types of kalis or anything at all for that matter. I observe and ask simple questions to which i do not expect the OP to get defensive about. You obviously have more experience with Moro weapons than i do since it is your thing, so please don't get snarky with me about this. But since you ask, in my logical mind it is the function of the clamp to hold the hilt securely and tightly to the blade so i would not image that movement in the clamp is a positive thing for it's functioning.
4. I do not now, nor have i ever believed that a presentation piece needs to be encrusted with gold or ivory. I was merely commenting that the silver work on you kalis does not look up to the standard of the era in general as i know it. That does not mean that it is not of that era, just that i am used to seeing a higher level of silver work when silver is employed.
5. As for the gunong, i am surprised you would consider this a "lower quality" piece. I think it's pretty damn beautiful and unusual (especially the nicely carved hilt) and one i would personally be more that happy to have been "presented" with.
To sum up Ron, i have never in this thread made any positive claims that this kalis isn't what you claim it to be. I have had some questions about certain details on the hilt which i have made not as a matter of any claimed expertise, but merely on logical observation and past experience. It's a beautiful blade and a wonderful find, one i would be more than happy to own. I still remain doubtful about the silver work on the hilt, but i can certainly make no definite claims that my doubts are correct. Still i assert my right to question what i observe and do so without the intent of causing any offense to you or your great understanding of Moro weaponry.
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Old 28th June 2011, 04:31 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
There's a b&w photo circulating in the 'net of three swords( i remembered one was an average barung) that was given by the same sultan to a reporter.

As someone who has worked for may years in the world of journalism i would put forth that the report was fortunate to have been given any swords at all and not just be sliced up by them and left to die by the roadside...
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Old 28th June 2011, 04:45 PM   #36
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Ron, I have a Maranao kalis with bamboo wedges fit to make the Asang tight to the blade .
That might explain any play in the fit .
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Old 28th June 2011, 05:49 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Ron, I have a Maranao kalis with bamboo wedges fit to make the Asang tight to the blade .
That might explain any play in the fit .

Interesting, so perhaps when the wedges deteriorate the clamp might move...
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Old 28th June 2011, 08:47 PM   #38
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Could be the case ..
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:11 PM   #39
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i really thought you were being a smartass, david. had you posted your last long post first, i prolly wouldn't have asked your "expert" opinion. that's one thing being on the internet, i can't be so sure if you were serious or not, but anyways, that's water under the bridge.
posted below was the gift from the sultan to an american reporter that i've mentioned earlier. notice the kris is something that we would see on ebay and not think twice about it.
my personal opinion on this piece? assuming the captain knew the sultan personally, perhaps when he was stationed in Jolo. the captain was eventually transferred to the 21st inf. stationed in manila, and most likely it was given to him as a parting gift. of note as well, he was permanently promoted the year before (1901). again, assuming he knew the sultan personally, this was given to him for his promotion.
regarding the asang: it is of good fit, really. i believe something heavy was placed (perhaps another sword?) next to the clip that holds the asang closest to the hilt, pushing it forward and in the process, dislodging the asang out of its place. it's really hard to explain, david, but i tell you what: july 9, i will be doing a display in dayton for some filipino MA festival. i don't have the details yet, but you are more than welcome to check it out. if you're interested, i can give you the details once i get it myself.
rick, that's actually the first time i've seen a bamboo wedge on the asang to make it fit. pretty innovative, i might add. is it just on one side???
as far as the gunong, didn't make it sound like it's a very low quality piece, per se. it's just that i'm trying to make an example of what a presentation piece could be, which in this case, a gunong (well, and a double barrel lantaka, among other things...

p.s.
the notation on the picture says:
(left) Barong; (right) kris: (center) the Sultan of Sulu's dress sword, presented to the author by his Excellency
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Old 28th June 2011, 10:26 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
i really thought you were being a smartass, david. had you posted your last long post first, i prolly wouldn't have asked your "expert" opinion. that's one thing being on the internet, i can't be so sure if you were serious or not, but anyways, that's water under the bridge.

Ron, water under the bridge is fine with me, but i really cannot see how you could have taken any of the comments i made about your kris as less than serious. It is not my intention nor place on these fora to act as a smart-ass. If i question something it is because....well....i have questions. Let's leave it at that.
Please do keep me informed about the MA festival. I am never sure of my schedule til the last minute (the down side of freelance), but i'd love the see the kris first hand (not so much to confirm or deny, but just to see it) and perhaps even more, see you yourself because, you know, i do really actually like you even if you were being snarky with me thinking i was a smart-ass...
And just once again, it's not the quality of the silver per se that has me questioning, but rather that quality in the context of the supposed time of creation. I never doubted that lower quality pieces were not given in presentation or even piece that have no silver on them at all. So while i enjoy seeing the swords presented to the journalist it doesn't really answer my questions. Actually to my eye the kris in that photo looks rather nice, though of course, not bedecked with silver or ivory. My question was whether or not the style and quality of the silver work on your hilt looks contemporary to that time period (1902). To me it does not, but i certainly have not seen it all. Perhaps you or others have other pieces that are provenanced to that time that have similar quality and style of repousse. If so i'd love to see them here.
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Old 28th June 2011, 10:29 PM   #41
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Good pieces given as gifts from a sultan I doubt would not be of the same value as what the datu or sultan would wear.

As far as the asang-asang is concerned, yes they are made to be tight. However, as time progresses, organic materials shrink (also depending upon the change of climate into which they are found) and so I am not totally surprised that some parts of a kris might not be as tight as originally made. Also don't forget, some later owners (me included) might play with them now and again, and if not careful may loosen parts in handling. How many times have I repaired pieces that were played with by little boys and now need restoration?

Also the style of silver work I find consistent with Sulu workmanship, even to that time period. Shrinkage and cleaning may be factors here.

Finally, I agree with David in that the gunong in question is not lower in quality but in fact a great piece with that great silver chasing work (I love good bling! )
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Old 28th June 2011, 11:12 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Perhaps you or others have other pieces that are provenanced to that time that have similar quality and style of repousse. If so i'd love to see them here.

Your wish is my command.

This barong is from the turn of the century and from a datu who gave it to the medical officer of General Macauthur in WWII. Notice the silver work that is of a similar style to Ron's kris. It is always possible that his is newer, but I doubt it. Sulu does not make this type of work anymore as far as I know.
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Old 29th June 2011, 01:11 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Your wish is my command.

This barong is from the turn of the century and from a datu who gave it to the medical officer of General Macauthur in WWII. Notice the silver work that is of a similar style to Ron's kris. It is always possible that his is newer, but I doubt it. Sulu does not make this type of work anymore as far as I know.

That looks nice Jose. Forgive me for asking, but if the piece was presented in WWII isn't it possible that the work on the hilt is much later than turn of the century? Is that pommel turn of the century also because it was always my impression that this form of inlay style came much later?
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Old 29th June 2011, 01:56 AM   #44
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Quote:
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That looks nice Jose. Forgive me for asking, but if the piece was presented in WWII isn't it possible that the work on the hilt is much later than turn of the century? Is that pommel turn of the century also because it was always my impression that this form of inlay style came much later?

Actually Jose, i'll answer my own question since there is a very similar Barong on page 38 in Cato's book made of kamagong wood with ivory inlay. It also has similar silver work. It is not dated, but it seems to be lumped in with other late 19th and early 20th century barongs.
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Old 29th June 2011, 01:57 AM   #45
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Actually no. The inlay style like this goes back to the 19th century. MOP inlay comes into vogue early in the 20th century. This inlay is ivory.

The junggayan style came in the late 19th century and more or less ended in the early 20th. Narrow time period. Definitely pre-WWII. I have seen other work like this from the 19th century from Sulu, but this is the only example I have in my arsenal to match.
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Old 29th June 2011, 05:31 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I have seen other work like this from the 19th century from Sulu, but this is the only example I have in my arsenal to match.

And a very nice arsenal it is...
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Old 29th June 2011, 07:02 AM   #47
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here's a photo of datu kalun and his family, sporting a similar type kris. datu kalun was a tagalog from cavite, (originally named pedro cuevas) who was a convict from the spaniard. on the way to zamboanga to do some jail time, he escaped and hid in Basilan. Yakans gave him a hard time, which led him to fight a local datu and ended up killing him. he converted to islam and eventually became the strongest datu in basilan. notice the mix of culture in that famil: the wife is wearing a shawl used by catholic known as mantilla, while his daughter next to him is holding a rosary, or tasbih, as the tausug would call it..
anyways, these kamagong ball type hilt (or any kamagong type hilt) are suppose to be popular on the southern part of sulu (tawi-tawi, bongao, etc.)
david, once i get the detail, i'll definitely let you know..
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Old 29th June 2011, 07:10 AM   #48
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detail of datu kalun's kris:
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Old 29th June 2011, 09:08 AM   #49
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Wow! Thanks for da close up, bro. Beautiful!
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Old 29th June 2011, 02:24 PM   #50
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Yeah great close up and pictures - Salamat bro!
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Old 29th June 2011, 04:21 PM   #51
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Ron, that Maranao has wedges under both asang .

Funny, ain't it .
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Old 29th June 2011, 06:16 PM   #52
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I don't think this is of major interest to this thread, but I've an observation also about the asang-asang that could be of importance.
A Sulu kris I have bought a while ago, came to me in very poor condition, with very rusty blade, not cleaned in what way so ever, crosspiece broken and so on.

The asang-asang of this piece also looks like it moved off the place where it belonged to be.
But I'm almost sure that not anyone would have done some efforts to restore this piece according the condition it came with me...
If he would have taken time to restore the asang-asang, he would probably fix the whole kris totally!

So I guess the reason an asang-asang is off its place, doesn't mean it isn't the real asang-asang..
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Old 29th June 2011, 08:08 PM   #53
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Good point Maurice. Sometimes these can be a little off (like me ) because these are hand made.
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Old 29th June 2011, 08:18 PM   #54
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Quote:
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Good point Maurice. Sometimes these can be a little off (like me ) because these are hand made.

LOL! I guess the word choice "off" wasn't the best one to use to make my statement!

I think I had to pay more attention when I was in English class a long time ago....
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Old 29th June 2011, 10:48 PM   #55
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just a wild guess, rick... perhaps the asang2x was made a little too big and instead of ditching it, it was jury-rigged to fit. never seen one like that. that's pretty cool, tho...
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