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Old 28th November 2017, 05:46 PM   #1
Royston
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Default Kampilan

We do not see many of these in the UK, so I was pleased to get this yesterday.
Excuse the photos, my abilities with cameras appear to get worse.

Anyway, comments please.

Total length 37" with a 28" blade.
Nice patination on the blade.

Hairy bit on the wrong side of hilt ?

I have not touched it, should I clean the blade ?

Regards
Roy
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Old 28th November 2017, 05:56 PM   #2
Rick
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Wow!
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Old 28th November 2017, 07:46 PM   #3
kai
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Damn...
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Old 28th November 2017, 07:57 PM   #4
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hilt appears to be upside down. as you thought...

here's one the right way up - does look a bit odd that way, so i assume some americans brought them home and 'fixed' them (they had a bad habit of doing that with moro kris too): (sadly, the example is not mine)

p.s. - i'd clean the blade carefully & etch it a bit to pop out that pattern, it'll be eye-poppin' gorgeous. seach for cleaning & etching here on the forum. the holes in the guard would likely have had a large iron staple, possibly with a lot of folds like a potato masher, as a further hand protection the bells on my example are a bit unusual tho.

ferdinand magellan was supposed to have been killed with one.

edited - added a grip example. not all had a potato masher tho, but the holes suggest yours did. they usually wrapped the grips too.
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Last edited by kronckew : 28th November 2017 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 28th November 2017, 08:15 PM   #5
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Hello Roy,

Congrats, kampilan with twistcore are very rare! Just in case you get bored with it...


Quote:
Hairy bit on the wrong side of hilt ?

Yes, someone turned the hilt upside down. Should be easy to correct and will offer an opportunity to work on the blade, too.


Quote:
Nice patination on the blade.
I have not touched it, should I clean the blade ?

Any active rust should be removed. It looks like it got etched with ferric chloride and this often stimulates development of new rust. Thus, some gentle cleaning, additional neutralisation and extensive washing might be a good idea.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th November 2017, 12:49 AM   #6
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I LOVE THE DOUBLE TWIST CORE!!!!

I agree that the blade is upside down, and as Kai said it is easily fixed.

This is also from the Ilanun/Iranun tribe, perhaps mid 1800s?

I'm so happy for you (grumble, grumble, envy, envy... )....
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Old 29th November 2017, 07:07 AM   #7
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Hello Jose,

Quote:
This is also from the Ilanun/Iranun tribe, perhaps mid 1800s?

I'm leaning towards a later date: At least the hilt does not appear to be an especially old example...
Also the twistcore surface appears to be almost pristine (compared to kalis with twistcore, that is). True enough, these status kampilan may have been more for show than action and seen less wear; however, the same could be argued for status kalis/kris... Also, twistcore in other Moro blades may have been kept smoother than in kalis/kris (and possibly spears); OTOH, there are so few examples around that, for the time being, I would not base any age estimate on it.

I'd also stipulate that we should have a very close look at the blade before assigning it to a specific ethnic origin (even if you base this on the hilt only). BTW, my apologies for not continuing our earlier discussion whether this hilt type really is specifically Ilanum vs. generic old-style - will try to follow up on this interesting topic when I find some more time.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th November 2017, 10:15 PM   #8
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Thanks Gents

I think it could have had two iron guards as the holes go all the way through the wooden cross guards - or is this normal ?
I do have two more, much plainer examples. One of them has holes all the way through and the other does not.

As regards cleaning, I was not asking how but rather "should it " be cleaned as the patina is, in my opinion quite attractive.

Cheers
Roy
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Old 29th November 2017, 10:18 PM   #9
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OK

I have answered my own question about the holes. I have just found a picture showing how the iron is attached.

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Roy
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Old 29th November 2017, 10:43 PM   #10
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Hello Roy,

Quote:
the holes in the guard would likely have had a large iron staple, possibly with a lot of folds like a potato masher,
<snip>
edited - added a grip example. not all had a potato masher tho, but the holes suggest yours did. they usually wrapped the grips too.

I agree with Wayne that there was an iron guard present in your example (and that some rattan braiding would complement the grip). Actually, if I read the wear correctly, I believe it once had a guard on both sides!

The attachment of these iron staples varies quite a bit (as does the bending of the guard); however, holes going all the way through the (usually but not exclusively) wooden crosspiece are the norm - even with pieces that have only a single guard.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th November 2017, 11:06 PM   #11
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Hello Roy,

Quote:
As regards cleaning, I was not asking how but rather "should it " be cleaned as the patina is, in my opinion quite attractive.

I'm not sure what you refer to as patina in this case.

From the pics, there is the obviously etched twistcore which certainly is attractive! This certainly should stay visible and stable for long-term storage; arguably, how much contrast would be suitable and culturally appropriate in a Moro setting is not fully established yet. This is certainly something which would need to be discussed while working on the blade since the results of different treatments can't be fully planned beforehand.

Possibly over the etching, there are patches of older rust incrustations which might compromise long-term storage/preservation; these should be completely removed IMHO.

Finally, there seems to be a fairly even layer of active rust all over the surface - flash tends to emphasise this while the naked eye (and automatic color correction in our brains) often glosses over it. As said above, this is a fairly common result of etching with ferric chloride: Even if you thoroughly neutralise after etching, you still have to make sure to wash off all chloride ions or they will continue to bite into the iron... (Chloride ions are the main reason for table salt or seawater being corrosive!)

Thus, I'd suggest that this blades needs and deserves a thorough cleaning. However, you have it in your hands and can have a much closer look than just basing your decision on a few pics alone.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 29th November 2017, 11:50 PM   #12
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some did have staples on both sides. i gather it's not the norm tho.
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Old 30th November 2017, 12:21 AM   #13
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Regarding the staples/guards:

1. Most kampilans had the staples only on one side, the side where the back of the hand held the grip.

2. Most staples were made of iron, though some were also made of bronze/brass.


Regarding the hilt:

1. I have seen documentation attributing this type of hilt with the Iranun/Ilanum peoples.

2. Kai you might be right on a possibly slightly later date for the hilt.


Regarding the blade:

1. I do agree that the blade needs to have the active red rust removed and then re-etched.

2. I also think the blade fits into the mid-to slightly later 19th century quality.
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Old 30th November 2017, 01:21 AM   #14
CCUAL
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Nice Kampilan.
Does your kampilan has a swollen edge blade like those shandigan barongs?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Royston
We do not see many of these in the UK, so I was pleased to get this yesterday.
Excuse the photos, my abilities with cameras appear to get worse.

Anyway, comments please.

Total length 37" with a 28" blade.
Nice patination on the blade.

Hairy bit on the wrong side of hilt ?

I have not touched it, should I clean the blade ?

Regards
Roy
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Old 30th November 2017, 09:12 PM   #15
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yowza!!!
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Old 3rd December 2017, 01:40 PM   #16
Sajen
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Wow, what a beautiful blade! Congrats!
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