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Old 16th January 2018, 04:01 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default Lovely and Unique Indonesian Sewar

Here is nice old sewar I picked up with a very good provenance dating from a collection started in 1890, and ended in 1920.

This old sewar has some lovely features and a very unusual hilt. When I first saw the hilt I thought it was Phytelephas macrocarpa, sometimes called "vegetable ivory", but I realized the outer layers were too thick for that. It is a wooden hilt with a wooden inlay of some sort at the end with the same material making tiny "teardrops" on each side.The hilt rests on a low-grade gold and enameled series of four "crowns" which is attached to a solid swassa bolster.

The blade is pattern welded, but not in an attractive way so I polished the blade.

The scabbard features an elongated mouth with a gold finial. This may have been decorative, but often when a finial of this type is seen it has been created to cover damage or repaired damage. I do not know the case here.

It seems that a couple of the silver bands are replacements.

I find it a very charming piece.

Dimensions:
Overall length: 13.5in.
Blade length: 8in.
Blade width at the forte: .75in.
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Old 16th January 2018, 04:30 PM   #2
francantolin
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Wonderful !!!
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Old 16th January 2018, 07:26 PM   #3
Sajen
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Hello Charles,

stunning piece!
The inlay in top of the pommel look like ivory, are you sure that it is wood?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 16th January 2018, 08:41 PM   #4
kai
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Hello Charles,

Congrats, that's a really rare, nice piece!


Quote:
Here is nice old sewar I picked up with a very good provenance dating from a collection started in 1890, and ended in 1920.

Any more details?


Quote:
It is a wooden hilt with a wooden inlay of some sort at the end with the same material making tiny "teardrops" on each side.

This pommel is made from high-quality wood. It has lost the typical gold disk on top of the pommel and the traditional gold "bracket" which helps to secure the disk (these are fixed on the side of the pommel and the holes filled here with the "tear drop" inlay).


Quote:
The hilt rests on a low-grade gold and enameled series of four "crowns" which is attached to a solid swassa bolster.

Usually these gold crowns have a rather high gold content - I'd recommend to have it tested!

The crowns look very nice. Could you post close-ups with higher resolution, please?


Quote:
The scabbard features an elongated mouth with a gold finial. This may have been decorative, but often when a finial of this type is seen it has been created to cover damage or repaired damage. I do not know the case here.

Tough to tell from the pics - the odds will mostly depend on the quality of the work!

Silver bands are very common later add-ons when a worn scabbard needs added stability.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 16th January 2018, 10:52 PM   #5
Battara
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I agree with Kai in that the pommel had a matching gold filigree and enamel cap with appendages on the sides that keep it in place.

I also agree that the scabbard bands were originally gold filigree, possibly with enamel as well.

Well good for you (grumble, grumble ) because I have been looking for one of these myself. Congratulations! (envy, envy ).

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Old 17th January 2018, 02:01 AM   #6
Jentayu
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Default Sewar Aceh

Sewar in my collection.
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Old 17th January 2018, 04:43 AM   #7
Robert
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You have not only been very busy in searching for new items, but exceedingly fortunate in the wonderful pieces you have been so fortunate in obtaining for your collection. Another absolutely beautiful addition.

Best,
Robert
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Old 17th January 2018, 12:50 PM   #8
CharlesS
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Jentayu,

Thanks so much for this pics, and confirmation of what others have said. Your sewar is AMAZING! What is the hilt material? It looks both beautiful and unique. You also helped answer a question about the filigreed terminal of the mouthpiece. Again, thanks!
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Old 17th January 2018, 01:08 PM   #9
kai
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Akar bahar...
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Old 17th January 2018, 01:17 PM   #10
kai
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Hello Jose,

Quote:
I also agree that the scabbard bands were originally gold filigree, possibly with enamel as well.

I can't remember seeing any scabbard stem rings with enamel.

If there were any bands originally, I'd bet on suasa. However, the most pristine examples seem to come without any bands; my guess is that these were usually added to fix a scabbard (for rencong and nobility siwaih) while for other daggers bands of precious metals are well known.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 18th January 2018, 09:31 AM   #11
Jentayu
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Yes Kai, the hilt is made of huge akar bahar or black coral while the stones used on the gold filigree on both the hilt and sheath I presumed are intans or low grade diamonds. There used to be rings on the sheath based on the stain marks.
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Old 19th January 2018, 12:47 PM   #12
Loedjoe
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You write: 'The scabbard features an elongated mouth with a gold finial. This may have been decorative, but often when a finial of this type is seen it has been created to cover damage or repaired damage. I do not know the case here.'

I think the gold finial is standard on this type of status siwaih, e.g. the attached from Rotterdam Wereldmuseum; the only exceptions I have come across are when the whole extension on the mouth is covered in gold, like the two attached, from the Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden and the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam.

Congratulations on your very interesting acquisition.
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