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Old 12th December 2006, 12:27 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default Help With Unique Moro Kriss Pommel...please!

Here is a very unique Moro kriss hoof shaped pommel done in lovely ivory.

The core is hollow, and appears to have had some kind or wood or organic material plug.

Can anyone tell me what material this plug may have been from, if indeed there was one(as pics seem to indicate).

Many thanks for any input.
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Old 12th December 2006, 01:26 PM   #2
Ian
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Default Curious ...

Hi Charles:

I can't be sure, but I think this ivory piece may not have been the full terminus of the hilt, but something further, like an elaborate kakatua, may have been fitted on the end. The cut out in the ivory simply being a place to insert a peg for the additional piece. That said, I have not seen such a large and angular hole for such an attachment.

I think Battara might be able to help you more than I can.

Ian.
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Old 12th December 2006, 01:33 PM   #3
zelbone
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That stuff inside could be the remnants of some type of glue or pitch. I was about to post what Ian had said...but he beat me to it .

If not a kakatua...but maybe a larger more ornate horsehoof...possibly of horn or even silver.
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Old 12th December 2006, 02:50 PM   #4
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The wear and coloring around the top of the pommel seems consistent with the sides, so I am not so sure anything was fitted into the hole that would have fitted on to the top edges(covering them). Had this been the case there would have been a different coloration I think.
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Old 12th December 2006, 05:58 PM   #5
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If you look in Cato's "Moro Swords" there are two examples of Sulu horse hoof pommel swords pictured. I do not recall the exact page number but in the pictures you see similar hilt styles as far as an angular hilt of octagonal shape with no further additions on top. All of the jungayyan hilts I have seen were attached to tubular sections of handle, not an octagonal section.
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Old 13th December 2006, 07:30 AM   #6
Philip
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Default curioser and curioser

Ian's comment led me to look at the engraved motifs that appear on four of the 8 sides of this pommel. Interesting that only one panel (left hand "long" side) has the design executed in a way that the elements form a complete unit that accurately fills the space allotted for it. The right hand "long" side panel's motifs mimic the left, but are done in a larger, more deeply-cut format that "drops off" the ends. The designs on two panels on the "short" side likewise do not fit completely in the space (see image above) and also run off the ends.

Charles is right in that the patina on the end of the pommel matches the sides, but the surfaces on the end do bear some tool marks, whereas the sides are quite smooth. The ivory looks like it's been this way for a very long time, the end has not been recently touched. The length of the grip (quite comfortable for a larger European hand) along with the sizeable pommel make this a very nice-handling short sword.

I don't know enough about Moro aesthetics to be able to judge whether the irregularities of the design in the four panels are "par for the course" or indicate something else... Am just putting forth these observations since I have the sword in front of me and thought it might elicit more ideas from the real experts.
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Old 13th December 2006, 06:01 PM   #7
Emanuel
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Hello,

On my screen, the carved panels are also "whiter" than the empty ones, they show less patina, less yellowing. Could this indicate that they were covered at some point? Would it be probable that a separate pommel was fitted into the space and that its outside parts covered the carved panels...perhaps a chiselled/relief silver piece? (this brings to mind the payakun sword on Dajak's avatar with the inserted carved piece in the pommel)

Emanuel
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Old 13th December 2006, 08:12 PM   #8
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Since my name was mentioned, I'll weigh in - I can see some darker patina at the top and lightening up as the eye goes down. I am in agreement that in this case there may have been something there with the reminents of pitch present. My thoughts are of something that can easily be taken off and sold, like repoussed/chased silver or even a little gold. Intriguing puppy (woof ! ).

I've also noticed that the hilt has been re-wrapped. May have been silver bands on it originally?
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Old 13th December 2006, 10:20 PM   #9
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Default patina

Although there are areas on the 4 carved panels that are lighter than on the blank facets, the lightness is not uniform; equally yellow patina can be found on some of the edges, particularly towards the extremity. In particular, about 1/4 to 1/3 of the lower short sides are quite patinaed. The pommel is carved of a single piece, and the interior of the recess is a surprisingly symmetrical octagon, neatly carved, with walls that parallel the exterior contour. Furthermore, there are age cracks at the interior corners of the recess. As I stated earlier, this pommel looks like it's been this way, and has had a fair amount of serious handling, over quite some time. Nothing new about it. Even the previously mentioned tool marks have patina in them.

My feeling if that this recess is just a mortise for the attachment of a solid cap or ornament, why carve such a neat octagonal shape? Or make it so large? Boring a round hole would be much easier, and function just as well as a mortise to accept a cylindrical tenon on the part being installed. If the need to prevent rotation of a large exterior ornament (in case of adhesive failure) was a concern, a smaller square mortise would still be a savings of labor over what we see here.

My gut feeling is that the end of this pommel was intended to either remain open or serve as a container of some kind. If so, there may well have been a metal liner at one time, or else that plus some sort of lid. I wonder, were the Moreaux in the habit of taking snuff? Or having a nip of strong brew before a battle or after a victory?
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