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Old 4th January 2018, 10:47 PM   #1
Ian
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Default Old Indonesian (?) mystery sword

This one is a bit of a mystery.

A short sword with a blade that seems to have some age--pre-WWII I think--and appears to have been sharpened and used quite a bit. The blade is spear-shaped, with some gradual widening from hilt to tip before tapering to a central point. The back edge is sharpened along its distal half. Both the regular edge and the sharpened part of the back edge have a V-grind.

The hilt has a nicely carved pommel that I am having trouble identifying (hopefully someone here will recognize it). There are actually two ferrules on the hilt, a large brass one that partially overlies a smaller one.

The sword came with a nondescript wooden sheath in two pieces held together at the moment with elastic bands.

Thanks for your thoughts on this one, I would appreciate some help in identifying it.

Ian.

Dimensions of sword
OAL = 23 inches
Length of blade = 18.5 inches
.
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Last edited by Ian : 5th January 2018 at 04:25 AM. Reason: Added dimensions
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:53 AM   #2
Henk
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My first thought is a european blade. Maybe broken and reworked into a klewang or pedang.
Nice find.
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Old 5th January 2018, 10:59 AM   #3
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For me it's possibly an old klewang blade that has been resized (to change the shape).
The handle is also very old and very worn, but it was modified at its base (because broken?) At the time the sword was mounted in its current state.
I have the impression that it is an old klewang that has been restored and modified in a more European way in the first half of the 20th century.
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Old 5th January 2018, 01:32 PM   #4
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I agree with Henk, as it appears to be a European blade reworked, or at least made from European monosteel.

Regards,

Marius
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Old 5th January 2018, 01:41 PM   #5
Kubur
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For me
it's a Mandau dayak with Pedang hilt
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Old 5th January 2018, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
I agree with Henk, as it appears to be a European blade reworked, or at least made from European monosteel.

Regards,

Marius


I had seen lamination on the blade, but maybe it's just my imagination.
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Old 5th January 2018, 03:51 PM   #7
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Hi Ian,

I am with SÚverin (Athanase) on this one. But it could be that the blade shape is original. This you can proof by a polish and etch since I think as well that the blade is laminated (sorry Marius), I've seen many unusual blade shapes by pedangs. It's for sure not a mandau blade (not concave/convex). Pommel is most probably carved from horn and can be called makara, maybe a little bit reshaped at the top.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 5th January 2018, 04:16 PM   #8
Ian
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Gents,

Thank you one and all!

All of your suggestions are most welcome and helpful. It is presently too cold in Minnesota (-20║C on my patio deck) for me to etch the blade--my wife has banished all etching to be done outside since I inadvertently etched the sink in her laundry. However, I can confirm that close inspection shows a laminated blade.

To my eyes this could well be a 19th C. blade originally, but I was being cautious earlier in saying pre-WWII. As far as being European-influenced, that was my thought also given the substantial bite out of the spine of the blade to create a very useful, and sharp, back edge. I think it's possible that this was made for, or used by, a European living in SE Asia.

Detlef, thanks for the suggestion that the hilt is a version of a makara. I had not thought of that. The hilt is made from horn and well rubbed over the years of use.

None of you esteemed gentleman has suggested an origin different from my "Indonesian (?)" suggestion, so I am assuming that you all agree with that attribution for my sword.

Thanks again for all the comments so far. Further suggestions are most welcome.

Ian.

P.S. I picked this one up about 10-15 years on an online site that is now defunct. It was labeled a Thai dha.
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Old 5th January 2018, 05:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
However, I can confirm that close inspection shows a laminated blade.


Hi Ian,
thank you for confirming. Can you give the thickness of the blade near the handle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Detlef, thanks for the suggestion that the hilt is a version of a makara. I had not thought of that. The hilt is made from horn and well rubbed over the years of use.


See the pictures taken from old threads which show other, sometimes unusual, makara styles from different origin. I think that the handle in very up is recarved, can you show a close-up from this area?[/QUOTE]


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
None of you esteemed gentleman has suggested an origin different from my "Indonesian (?)" suggestion, so I am assuming that you all agree with that attribution for my sword.


Yes, I am sure it's Indonesian, from Lombok I think.
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Old 5th January 2018, 08:50 PM   #10
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And here a handle from my own collection.
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Old 5th January 2018, 11:10 PM   #11
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Thanks for all that information Detlef. Much appreciated!

The width of the blade at the hilt is 3/16 inch or about 0.5 cm. Attached are close up pictures of the carved area. There is definite evidence of a piece missing at the end of the hilt and the defective area has been carved smooth with a small knife that has left tiny "chip" marks.

Ian
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Old 5th January 2018, 11:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Thanks for all that information Detlef. Much appreciated!


You are welcome Ian!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
The width of the blade at the hilt is 3/16 inch or about 0.5 cm.


This is rather thin for a pedang blade, from six pedang I have in my collection is only one thin like this, a pedang from Sumbawa.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
Attached are close up pictures of the carved area. There is definite evidence of a piece missing at the end of the hilt and the defective area has been carved smooth with a small knife that has left tiny "chip" marks.


Thank you for confirming my guess, the handle will have looked similar as the last one I've schown in up from my collection.
Makara handles are a most interesting study area which normally would require an own thread.
I've attached the other makara pommels from my klewangs I've taken already some time ago. The one in up I've shown is from Lombok I think.
Here the others like follow:
1. brown horn, pedang from Lombok
2. wood, pedang from Lombok
3. wood, pedang from Sunda
4. black horn, pedang from Sumbawa
5. black horn, pedang from Lombok

Regards,
Detlef
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