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Old 25th December 2017, 04:54 PM   #1
Ian
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Default Datu quality Kalinga axe

This Kalinga axe from Northern Luzon finished online today. Not sure that it is all that old, but the decoration is very good. A lot of folks watched it and bid high.

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Old 26th December 2017, 01:54 PM   #2
Sajen
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Hi Ian,

it look fairly old to my eyes, end of 19th to early 20th century would be my guess and all brass decorations seems in good complete order. I have a very similar example but sadly not in such good condition. This and the rarity of such Datu Kalinga axes let went it so high IMVHO.

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Detlef
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Old 26th December 2017, 09:36 PM   #3
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At Sothebys, Bonhams, and on the tribal arts markets, these in this condition got for up to $2500 for years.

This one is a great price therefore, though not a bargain.
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:10 PM   #4
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Hello Ian,

Quote:
Not sure that it is all that old, but the decoration is very good.

Some of the nails do look more like a hazard than good quality work of old. Maybe a restored piece?

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Kai
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Ian,


Some of the nails do look more like a hazard than good quality work of old. Maybe a restored piece?

Regards,
Kai
Hi Kai,

Yes that took my eye as well. Given the price these axes fetch when they have all this bling on the handle, I would not be surprised if it had some restoration done to it.

The high prices these attract seems to be more related to the quality of the decoration, rather than the quality of the axe head. Perhaps these are seen as more of a symbol of office than an actual weapon for use, much like a princely scepter.

Probably explains why I picked up this Kalinga axe head for very little about 20 years ago--the axe head is every bit as good as the one above, just minus the handle and decoration!

Ian.
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Old 26th December 2017, 10:55 PM   #6
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Hi Detlef and Jose,

Yes it did go high but, as you say, no higher than other examples in the last few years. I'm always cautious when weapons are valued highly for their decorative components--it leaves the door open to fakers who can dress up an old inexpensive blade and pass it off for something it is not.

The one that just finished online does look legit to me, but I think this is an area in which one should be very careful--especially buying online when it is not possible to inspect the item closely.

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Old 26th December 2017, 11:42 PM   #7
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Hello Ian,

Quote:
The high prices these attract seems to be more related to the quality of the decoration, rather than the quality of the axe head. Perhaps these are seen as more of a symbol of office than an actual weapon for use, much like a princely scepter.

I also rather doubt this sentiment was true for the originating culture! It does seem more like a tribal art hype and people who should know better when spending reasonable amounts of money - obviously people's definitions of "peanuts" do vary a bit...


Quote:
Probably explains why I picked up this Kalinga axe head for very little about 20 years ago--the axe head is every bit as good as the one above, just minus the handle and decoration!

Lucky you - 20 years ago just about everything "ethnic" could be picked up for a dime with a bit of patience and access to (mainly US) fairs; early internet access did helped, too.

Having said that, I'd pick your's any day over the current example - very neat quality!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 27th December 2017, 04:10 AM   #8
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I think the original examples were indeed ceremonial. They belonged to pangats, great warriors and respected elders for Igorot communities. These pieces were tattooed in these metals, like some shields, like their bodies.

I agree that this particular piece on eBay is later and not quite of the quality of earlier pieces.
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