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Old 9th January 2018, 09:18 PM   #31
Ian
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Default More Apalit knives

I'm digging this one up again because I have been going through my collection of Philippine knives and found several more examples of Apalit knives.

Of the four, I think the second one may be the oldest Its wooden sheath has a crest with the Philippine eagle and the word "PHILIPPINE" vertically down the front of the sheath. The style of the eagle crest was common on knives just after WWII, especially on some of the Visayan talibon of that era, and I think this knife dates from that time.

The other three I think are later and were sold to U.S. service men stationed at Clark AFB or the naval base at Subic Bay. Both of these U.S. bases were within 25 miles of Apalit.

The top one is a very plain, no frills, work knife/bolo in a plain wooden sheath.

The second one I have mentioned already. It is the smallest of the four knives and still has a very sharp edge on the blade.

The third one is interesting for the carving on the hilt and scabbard. Earlier in this thread, I suggested that the shape of the hilt reminded me of a snake (naga). However, the hilt of this one has the carved head of what I think is a dolphin or porpoise, but might be a crocodile--see pictures below. This example is the only one that has the "toe" on the scabbard that Robert mentioned.

The fourth one obviously has a modified sheath, with leather wrapping the underlying wooden scabbard. Just so that we can be sure these knives are from Apalit, the blade of the bottom one has a partial "APALIT" stamp--see close up picture below.

These knives are not rare and they show up fairly regularly online. My guess is that they were inexpensive, well made, sturdy knives that appealed to U.S. servicemen who were stationed nearby and brought many of them back home. As those who brought them back got older, we have seen them come on the market more frequently.

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Old 9th January 2018, 09:54 PM   #32
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Default And another two--completely different

Here are two more Apalit knives. The first one is a heavy knife, with a blade thickness of 3/8 inch just in front of the hilt. The leather sheath that comes with it appears to be original and old. The curiously shaped heavy blade is uncommon, and I have been told that it was likely a butcher's knife. "APALIT" is stamped on the blade.

The second one is a dainty little knife with carved horn hilt and sheath. The carving has been filled with lime to enhance the contrast with the black horn of the hilt. On the back is the name of the maker (N CASTRO) and the town (APALIT, PAMP). The horn sheath has a toe, as described by Robert. Judging from the writing on this one, which is in the Art Nouveau/Art Deco style, I would guess this one dates from 1920-1930.

Note: In post #3 of this thread, Robert shows a knife with fist hilt made by Castro and Sons. It would seem my knife and his are related.

Ian.
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Last edited by Ian : 15th January 2018 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 10th January 2018, 03:56 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian
The second one is a dainty little knife with carved horn hilt and sheath. The carving has been filled with lime to enhance the contrast with the black horn of the hilt. On the back is the name of the maker (N CASTRO) and the town (APALIT, PAMP). The horn sheath has a toe, as described by Robert. Judging from the writing on this one, which is in the Art Nouveau/Art Deco style, I would guess this one dates from 1920-1930.


I bid on this one, but sadly, I forgot to bid higher.
Do you think it likely that the rope tied to the hilt is an anting-anting?

While I did not win on this knife, I did manage to secure this very similar, but not Apalit marked knife. The blade has definitely seen a lot of use, but I was more after the carved horn on this one anyway, so I'm ok with that. If there's interest, I'll take some pics and post them sometime in the near future.

Have fun,
Leif
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Old 10th January 2018, 02:49 PM   #34
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Hi Leif,

Yes, that one does look very similar and the sheath also appears to be made from carved horn. The (unusual for Philippines) suspension system with two small rings at the mouth of the scabbard suggests to me that yours and mine came from the same source. The clenched fist motif adds to the similarity. Good find!

I don't know the significance of the frayed cord on the hilt of mine. Perhaps it is a remnant of an old suspension system that involved the two rings on the back of the sheath. The cord is quite long when unraveled (about 20 inches).

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Old 10th January 2018, 05:39 PM   #35
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Leif,
That pommel form is in itself an Anting-Anting of sorts.
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Old 15th February 2018, 10:29 PM   #36
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Hello all,

I just picked up another example of this style, with a clenched fist, and a carved horn scabbard. This time with a some what fanciful Bartolome style blade. Given the aluminum ferrule, I think this is perhaps 1940s, perhaps latter? In addition to the "Philippines" carved on the scabbard, there's also a "Tagumay" (perhaps related to "Tagumpay," or "Victory" as is found on many, many, post WWII Filipino weapons) carved on the handle.

I need to spend some time cleaning up the blade, and will post better pics after doing so.

Enjoy,
Leif
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Old 19th February 2018, 03:07 PM   #37
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Leif:

I think there is an alternative explanation for Tagumpay. It could be the name of a town. There are many towns and areas named Tagumpay in the Philippines, but the most relevant may be a town in the province of Nueva Ecija which is also in Central Luzon and to the northeast of Pampanga.

The blade shape of your knife is what I would call a "double clip," a distinctive shape found in central and northern Luzon, and one that is seen quite commonly on Ilokano knives. The horn (?) sheath has a trilobed toe that is similar to many Ilokano leather sheaths of the early and mid-20th C.

So I think you have a Central Luzon knife of Ilokano style that could be first half or mid-20th C. The key will be the guard. If that is aluminum, then I think it is WWII vintage or a little later.

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Old 19th February 2018, 10:54 PM   #38
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I agree with Ian. I would also note that this was made for returning GIs at that time. The thickness of the hilt and style of carving also shows a later vintage.
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Old 24th February 2018, 06:49 PM   #39
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Thank you both for you comments. The guard is definitely aluminum, and the hilt and scabbard are definitely horn.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 22nd June 2018, 11:44 PM   #40
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This is another characteristic knife from Apalit and has a little more carving on the hilt than usual. On this one the pommel has been carved in the likeness of the head of a water buffalo (carabao). Dated 1945, the wooden scabbard shows a "toe" similar to other examples here.


These are the dealer's pics. I will post better ones after it arrives.



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Old 13th July 2018, 06:31 AM   #41
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Here are additional pictures of the knife that I mentioned in the previous post. The thickness of the blade is only 1/8 inch just in front of the guard, and this is much thinner than the usual sturdy knives from Apalit. The metal disk guard is also unusual for an Apalit knfe. The septagonal-faceted hilt and characteristic pommel are similar to the plainer versions seen on most Apalit hilts.

The maker's mark at forte appears to be an "E" struck over an "M."

From the level of decoration on this one I would say it was probably made for sale to a foreigner.

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Old 13th July 2018, 06:56 AM   #42
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And here are some carabao heads and a profile of same for comparison. Some carabao have horns and others have had them removed or are juveniles.


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