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Old 10th February 2013, 09:59 AM   #1
Sajen
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Default Rentjong with akar bahar hilt

Some days ago I received this rentjong from the same collection as the Sulawesi (?) sword. The handle was lacquered black by what reason I don't understand. It cost me some effort to remove the lacquer and it coming out that the handle is worked from two pieces of akar bahar. Unusual in my opinion is the end cap from the handle, I don't think that it is silver but I am nearly sure that the stone is a small ruby. blade is like usual fine laminated.

All comments are very welcome. Special the origin would be of great interest for me, Aceh, Gayo?
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Old 10th February 2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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Some more Pictures!
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Old 10th February 2013, 10:36 AM   #3
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KILLER piece Detlef!! Near perfect lines and proportions on that blade, IMO. Black coral (Antipatharia sp.) make a beautiful material and it's very durable in the long run.

I'm also crazy about the silver pommel with the stone - really elegant. I think the stone could perhaps also be a garnet? I don't know though, I'm no expert in minerals.

- Congratulations!


All the best, - Thor
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Old 10th February 2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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Oh yeah, almost forgot - are you gonna etch it?

- looooove the fuller btw!
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Old 10th February 2013, 10:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Koch
Oh yeah, almost forgot - are you gonna etch it?

- looooove the fuller btw!


Thank you Thor! No, I don't plan to etch it, the lamination is much better visible in real and the blade have a nice old patination which I don't want to remove.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 10th February 2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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Hello Detlef,

Very nice piece.
The blade scabbard and handle are all Atjeh.
No Gayo influences imho.

The silver may be a later addition maybe because the handle broke.

I have a letteropener rentjong dated mid 30's with similar floral design.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 10th February 2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Hello Detlef,

Very nice piece.
The blade scabbard and handle are all Atjeh.
No Gayo influences imho.

The silver may be a later addition maybe because the handle broke.

I have a letteropener rentjong dated mid 30's with similar floral design.

Best regards,
Willem


Thank you Willem,

so it is a Aceh piece. I have asked because the silver cap and the short end of the handle but for this you give the explanation also.
The floral design is indeed similar.
Crazy that someone come to the idea to cover the akar bahar handle with lacquer.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 10th February 2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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Now I see the black coral - the lacquer did muddy the picture totally.

I agree - who would put black lacquer on black coral?!?!?
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Old 10th February 2013, 02:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Now I see the black coral - the lacquer did muddy the picture totally.

I agree - who would put black lacquer on black coral?!?!?


I only can guess that the man who collect this retjong don't know what he have there in front of him and has done it since in Indonesia everybody will know about this material.
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Old 10th February 2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
I only can guess that the man who collect this retjong don't know what he have there in front of him and has done it since in Indonesia everybody will know about this material.


Perhaps that is one's way to protect the material. Akar bahar is somewhat porous, minuscule pores were scattered all over it and the previous owner would think that it was the best coating he could give...

Or maybe it was purposely lacquered down beyond recognition, as a measure of secrecy...

BTW, that was a nice, old akar bahar you've got there...
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Old 10th February 2013, 05:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moshah
Perhaps that is one's way to protect the material. Akar bahar is somewhat porous, minuscule pores were scattered all over it and the previous owner would think that it was the best coating he could give...

Or maybe it was purposely lacquered down beyond recognition, as a measure of secrecy...

BTW, that was a nice, old akar bahar you've got there...


It is now the third piece I've got from this old collection and it seems that the collector was used to cover all (or some) of his items with lacquer, two blades was covered with clear lacquer. My wild guess: he don't know about the material and want to give the hilt a homogeneous colour. But who knows exactly since the collector is not on earth anymore.
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Old 10th February 2013, 05:43 PM   #12
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Hello Willem,

Quote:
The blade scabbard and handle are all Atjeh.
No Gayo influences imho.

I also don't see any clear evidence which would suggest a Gayo origin. I'm not entirely comfortable with it being pure-bred Aceh though. At least the (brass?) end knob with stone doesn't look anything like traditional Aceh style IMVHO.


Quote:
The silver may be a later addition maybe because the handle broke.

The silverwork is neatly done and definitely looks genuine and older than the knob (cp. the partly covered flow of lines which I find aesthetically disturbing). I can't remember having seen any rencong with a similar tail decoration though.


Another note: While the blade is traditionally crafted, it does show several forging flaws which are also not that commonly seen on higher-end (or above-average) rencong from Aceh; it is possible that this is an older blade and that the flaws became visible or more prominent from usage and cleaning: AFAIK this is more commonly seen with Gayo rencong. Quite weird IMHO.

Still a nice catch, Detlef! How good is the fit of the blade in the scabbard?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 10th February 2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Willem,


I also don't see any clear evidence which would suggest a Gayo origin. I'm not entirely comfortable with it being pure-bred Aceh though. At least the (brass?) end knob with stone doesn't look anything like traditional Aceh style IMVHO.



The silverwork is neatly done and definitely looks genuine and older than the knob (cp. the partly covered flow of lines which I find aesthetically disturbing). I can't remember having seen any rencong with a similar tail decoration though.


Another note: While the blade is traditionally crafted, it does show several forging flaws which are also not that commonly seen on higher-end (or above-average) rencong from Aceh; it is possible that this is an older blade and that the flaws became visible or more prominent from usage and cleaning: AFAIK this is more commonly seen with Gayo rencong. Quite weird IMHO.

Still a nice catch, Detlef! How good is the fit of the blade in the scabbard?

Regards,
Kai


Hello Kai,

the knob is not from silver, maybe white brass? But it has a lot of patina so I think it is already long attached but agree that it look somewhat weird. The fit in the scabbard is perfect IMHO. And agree with you, it's the first rentjong blade I have seen/handled with such a forging flaw. BTW, the most items from this collection was collated around 1900.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 10th February 2013, 09:56 PM   #14
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Well, part if it looks silver and the very top looks white metal. Have you tested it yet?
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Old 10th February 2013, 09:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Well, part if it looks silver and the very top looks white metal. Have you tested it yet?


No, still missing my silver test! But from the look I agree with you.
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