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Old 18th August 2017, 09:39 AM   #1
Roland_M
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Default Kerambit Minang

Hello,

today I have an old Kerambit Minangkabau for the forum members.

Hilt and Scabbard are finely carved from deer antler, the blade is very fine laminated steel.

This Kerambit must be quite old. I know its history since around 1950. It comes from the collection of a dutch collector. He married a german wife arounmd 1950 and he already brought the Kerambit with him. The blade was heavily corroded but well preserved. I think, this Kerambit is from 19th century. Until now I was not able, to find a similar piece in the internet, so maybe it is of some importance.

Hope that the pictures are ok and I can make more of them if wanted.


Regards,
Roland
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Old 18th August 2017, 02:44 PM   #2
Sajen
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Hi Mate,

you know that I was skeptical when you have shown me this kerambit the first time, it has a very well made blade and a very well carved dress but I am still skeptical and I am afraid that it is just to fancy for the real deal, compare it with the from Marius here posted rentcong: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...&highlight=aceh
Do you see the the similarity in the motives of the carving and material? I am curious what others think about this piece.

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 18th August 2017, 02:53 PM   #3
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Here for reference two examples which are sold recently by ebay, both examples are good antique pieces IMVHO.
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Old 18th August 2017, 02:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Do you see the the similarity in the motives of the carving and material? I am curious what others think about this piece.

Best regards,
Detlef



Hi Detlef,

Sorry no, I can see no equality . My scabbard and hilt are made from deer antler, the rencong is bone or whale-bone. The decorations are executed in a pretty different style.


Best wishes,
Roland
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Old 18th August 2017, 03:30 PM   #5
Sajen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland_M
My scabbard and hilt are made from deer antler, the rencong is bone or whale-bone. The decorations are executed in a pretty different style


The rentcong isn't from whale bone, could be bone or antler also. Difficult to distinguish from pictures only.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 19th August 2017, 10:43 PM   #6
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Hello Roland,

Did you ever etched this blade? I'd love to see more details! (Considering the tool marks, it doesn't look repolished.)


Quote:
This Kerambit must be quite old. I know its history since around 1950. It comes from the collection of a dutch collector. He married a german wife arounmd 1950 and he already brought the Kerambit with him. The blade was heavily corroded but well preserved. I think, this Kerambit is from 19th century.

Thanks for posting your piece! It's especially nice to have pieces with additional provenance! Any idea how reliable the info you got might be?

I have no problem with this piece predating WW2. I'm quite sure it is from the 20th century though: The blade does not look traditional and the hilt made from 2 parts will not be able to withstand the stress of real usage; also the flamboyant scabbard hints at the same conclusion.

Note that there was an established souvenir industry already by the end of the 19th century in Medan (and probably elsewhere); the carving may utilize different motifs but would be consistent from what I have seen from there. And it doesn't look Minang.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th August 2017, 10:54 PM   #7
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Hello Detlef,

Quote:
Here for reference two examples which are sold recently by ebay, both examples are good antique pieces IMVHO.

The first one looks like a legit antique example, indeed.

The second seems to have a strong blade; I'm positive that it is a later example though and very likely a non-traditional piece...

Really old kerambit/korambi/lawi ayam/etc. are very rare!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th August 2017, 11:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Really old kerambit/korambi/lawi ayam/etc. are very rare!


Hello Kai, yes I know and they get sold by very high prices. I look already very long for an example or two which I can add to my collection!

Regards,
Detlef

Last edited by Sajen : 20th August 2017 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 19th August 2017, 11:53 PM   #9
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As usual I don't know much about the blade in question itself. I've only observations and what those observations might suggest to offer:

1) The scabbard is ornately decorated on both sides.

While there are plenty of exceptions. As a general rule scabbards tend to be only decorated (or have the major focus for detail in decoration) on one side. The side that faces out towards the observer. This is simply practical. Most people are right handed and would be expected to wear the scabbard on one side consistently. And whichever side they wear it on, the side that is against their body will see wear over time if the blade is worn frequently.

That makes me think that this is a less practical weapon. That isn't to say it is purely decorative or non-functional. It's just to say that I don't think this is something that was intended to be worn as an everyday weapon. Maybe it's intended for wearing on special occasions. Like getting out the good china or putting on your nice shoes.

The fact that the rest of the blade is also very nice looking (above and beyond what others have noted as being common) would further that idea I think.

2) The bordered diamond on one side of the scabbard does not fit with the rest of the style. It's also interesting that there isn't a diamond shape on the other side.

This makes me think that the diamond is intended to be an inscription plate. That it is blank may only suggest that the maker did not know who would end up buying it. Or that the purchaser did not know it was intended for that due to a lack of communication between the maker and the buyer.

This makes me think that it may have been made for export. Not necessarily a tourist piece given the quality of materials and construction. But likely not made by the person who owned it or with any particular individual in mind when it was crafted.

As for it being blank. A lot of inscription plates end up never being engraved for one reason or another.

3) The deign aspect are very European.
We see acorn and acanthus leaf motifs. A boot or hoof shaped end. A wide and long central fuller (as apposed to a near the spine groove or a central ridge) with a very nice false edge that has a nice clean scoop on the back.

It may not have been made in Europe. But in conjunction with everything else it does seem like it was made to appeal to a European market.
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Old 21st August 2017, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Roland,

Did you ever etched this blade? I'd love to see more details! (Considering the tool marks, it doesn't look repolished.)

Regards,
Kai



Hello Kai,

yes I already polished the blade but the laminations are so tiny, it is almost impossible to bring them out. You can see some traces of lamination only. The blade has been made from flawlessly forged laminated mono-steel.

But there are obvious signs of combat on this blade, the first half of the blade is full of small notches. There are some typically breakouts which appear, when the blade hits a bone.

I dont think that we see an export-blade for western market.


Regards,
Roland
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Old 21st August 2017, 09:09 PM   #11
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Hello Roland,

Quote:
I already polished the blade but the laminations are so tiny, it is almost impossible to bring them out. You can see some traces of lamination only. The blade has been made from flawlessly forged laminated mono-steel.

Thanks!


Quote:
But there are obvious signs of combat on this blade, the first half of the blade is full of small notches. There are some typically breakouts which appear, when the blade hits a bone.

Or possibly a coarse stone?


Quote:
I dont think that we see an export-blade for western market.

There is always the possibility that on older blade gets pimped-up for sale. However, this blade looks quite atypical to start with:
1. The tip configuration is more like a generic knife/dagger rather than a typical korambi from Sumatra.
2. The central fuller is only present on one side (and, again, atypical).
3. The back edge is very short (again atypical).
4. The secondary bevel along the edge is ... atypical, sorry.

The blade does not look like it has been used for extended periods; I sure can be wrong though!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 21st August 2017, 09:19 PM   #12
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Hello Detlef,

Quote:
I know and they get sold by very high prices. I look already very long for an example or two which I can add to my collection!

Yes, indeed! That remark wasn't directed at you but supposed to lessen Roland's pain a bit.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 6th September 2017, 08:12 AM   #13
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There is an opinion that Lawi Ayam are women knifes for self-defence - and of course I have one in my collection :-)
It is a small dagger which measurs only 11 cm from the blade tip to the top of the handle in a direct line! It has silver fittings on the wood or horn scabbard, fancy carved horn handle in a form of a bird and the laminated blade. It looks like it has some age.
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Old 6th September 2017, 03:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatyana Dianova
There is an opinion that Lawi Ayam are women knifes for self-defence - and of course I have one in my collection :-)
It is a small dagger which measurs only 11 cm from the blade tip to the top of the handle in a direct line! It has silver fittings on the wood or horn scabbard, fancy carved horn handle in a form of a bird and the laminated blade. It looks like it has some age.


Hello Tatyana,

very nice piece!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 6th September 2017, 07:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland_M

But there are obvious signs of combat on this blade, the first half of the blade is full of small notches. There are some typically breakouts which appear, when the blade hits a bone.



Hello Roland,

I have major doubts about the "signs of combat" as these knives are not even suitable for combat.

They are designed to be concealed weapons for surprise upwards attacks to the belly of the opponent.

I think that quite often, we collectors, are tempted to see what we want to see.

Other that that, both the style of decoration and materials appear to be very similar to my Rencong (as mine is of bone or antler too)... including the monosteel blade, so I tend to believe they come from the same manufacturing centre and they were aimed for the same market.

Regards,

Marius
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