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Old 2nd April 2005, 03:14 PM   #1
Ian
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Smile Sword from Lombok -- comments please

This is one I have had for a number of years and was sold to me as a "woman's sword" from Lombok. I am not so sure about the female attribution, and even less sure about what to call it. It may be a pedang suduk. Recently another similar sword was on eBay from a dealer in Bali who called it a Cundik/Sendirung, which I cannot find in v. Zonneveld or any other reference that I have.

The sword itself is of good quality, with silver and gold mounts (yes it has been tested and found to be gold, although the percentage of gold is probably low). The handle is wood, and resembles pelet wood that we discussed recently on another thread. The precision of fit of the sword to the scabbard indicates this scabbard was made for the sword and may be original. The blade was polished when I got it, and a light etch indicates a pamor that may be ngulit semonko. The tip of the blade appears to have been reshaped a little. The blade is partially sharpened on the back edge, like many pedang.

Interested to hear what you think of this sword, and in particular how you think I should do a "traditional" etch to bring out the pamor of the blade.

Ian
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Last edited by Ian : 22nd March 2020 at 02:57 AM. Reason: Replaced pictures from Photobucket that were overwritten by hosting site
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Old 2nd April 2005, 03:48 PM   #2
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Hi Ian , I like this sword very much .

I'd suggest the Capt's way of etching ; it worked quite nicely on his blade ... BUT ... I'm afraid Nechesh is gonna put the hoodoo on me if you took my advice .

Tell me one thing ; is the base of the ukiran carved so that it fills the gold cup/selut at the base or is that empty space in there ?

I've always wanted one of these (along with a million other pieces) !
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Old 2nd April 2005, 04:27 PM   #3
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I agree with Rick, by all means etch it, but i would stay away from the battery acids myself. It looks like there is a nice pamor in there.
I also doubt the women's sword attribution. Would this blade be deemed a pedang?
And Rick, what's a Beantown Yankee boy like you know about Hoodoo anyway!
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Old 2nd April 2005, 05:28 PM   #4
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Born On The Bayou Dave (the Back Bayou) .

Ian , I find the tip of the blade interesting ; done on purpose ?
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Old 2nd April 2005, 05:37 PM   #5
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Definitely done on purpose -- quite symmetrical and ground to that particular shape. Possibly a repair?

Ian
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Old 2nd April 2005, 05:59 PM   #6
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Ian , Nechesh , do you think there's any chance at all that this is a re-shaped keris blade ?
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Old 2nd April 2005, 06:15 PM   #7
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My guess is that this piece didn't originate on Lombok, but rather just ended up there.
It looks to be an exceptional specimen of a pedang suduk, but they were previouly known for a while as parang lusuk and even as "tempius", I believe in "Stone's".
My "gut feeling " about your particular sword is that it originated in the area of Indonesia that seems almost to be a piece of the Philippines at times, with Moro appearing pieces extremely common.....I'm sure you know where I mean, Ian, but I'm drawing a complete blank at the moment.
While these are currently accepted to be slashing swords, my own suspicion is that in actuality they were quite probably used as official executioner's weapons, in the same manner attributed to the long bladed kerises.
If so, damage to the tip from a body falling sideways faster than was expected could cause tip damage if it wasn't completely extricated in time, and would result in a needed repair similar to yours.
Your piece, more than any other that I've seen seems to lend itself to my personal theory even more than most as it would be eminently suitable and appropriate as a court sword, and likewise the relatively bloodless stab would seem to be favored in a palacial environment.
Mike
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Old 2nd April 2005, 06:51 PM   #8
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NO need for battery acid remember i just used it because i had sanded and sealed the grain-[i can tell this is going to haunt me ]id personaly clean with fruit juice and make a mild staining solution like i did its very rewarding when the pattern gradualy emerges...its not like ull damage the blade u can always clean it again if your not happy
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Old 2nd April 2005, 07:42 PM   #9
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Oh Smashy, i'll bet you've got a few more pressing skeletons hanging around in your closet to haunt you than battery acid.
Sorry Mike, but i think i disagree with you here on many fronts. IMO this is not the same blade form at all to the example you posted. It does resemble other cundiks i have seen, but i don't know enough about this form to know if this is truly one. I don't think this was ever intended as a slashing weapon either. I think it's origin probably is Lombok or Bali as the blade work looks very much like other weapons from that area. I also don't think this is an executioners weapon. How long is it anyway. The bloodless means of execution you mention Mike requires a fairly long blade.
Rick, i see what you mean by suggesting it may be a reformed keris, especially having a pecetan and all, but my gut feeling is that this is the blade's original form, tip and all.
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Old 2nd April 2005, 08:42 PM   #10
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Mike , I've gotta go with Nechesh on the origin of this blade , Bali or Lombok .
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Old 2nd April 2005, 11:35 PM   #11
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Very nice piece of traditional Lombok design, it is called a Cundrik or Sundrik.
A nearly identical piece is pictured in Djelenga's "Keris Di Lombok" on page 101.
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Old 2nd April 2005, 11:53 PM   #12
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Could it be a keris pedang? It has a picetan at the base. Maybe it lost its ganja, and someone redressed it with modern-style fittings.
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Old 3rd April 2005, 04:46 AM   #13
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Hopefully I'm not clouding the issue here, but here's a keris I just got last week from Justin and I freely admit that keris are my weakest point in all of the PI/Indo/Malay weapons, likewise my least favorite.
This one, on the other hand, feels like a real weapon, with a blade that's decidedly non-pamor in relation to other kerises that I've had and seen, including some truly magnificent specimens of Mick's, and likewise has the deep grooving as in Ian's piece and many Philippine war kris.
Following the train of thought that seems to be developing, then this is likely a Lombok piece and the type that is being mentioned as possibly being what Ian's started as?
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Old 3rd April 2005, 04:25 PM   #14
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This is a keris panjang (literally "long keris"). It is not a weapon of war. Rather, it is a symbol of authority of Malay/Sumatran rulers. As you may have heard, keris panjang is sometimes used to execute people, by way of piecing the heart, top-down, through the shoulder clavicle.

The keris panjang I've seen are usually from the Malay or Sumatran areas. Yours is most likely sumatran, judging from the greneng. I have never seen a Javanese/Balinese/Lombok keris panjang yet.
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Old 3rd April 2005, 04:27 PM   #15
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Mike, that looks like a keris panjang, sometimes referred to as an executioners keris and my guess would be for a Sumatran origin. The pics are a bit dark on my screen, but this looks like it might be a 20thC example.
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Old 3rd April 2005, 04:30 PM   #16
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looks like Kai Wee and i were posting at the same time. Nice to see we are in agreement.
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Old 3rd April 2005, 05:26 PM   #17
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In this case I'm 100% the student and you gentlemen are demonstrating EXACTLY why.
Normally, I have a fairly discerning eye when it comes to detail and right after I posted the photos of my newest aquisition I was struck by the similarity of the "ferule" (sorry guys, no offense intended **grin**) which is once again unlike anything that I've previously seen on a keris, and after reading Ian's comments about his, it dawned on me that the metal also doesn't appear to be normal brass/bronze, so I'll get it checked as well.
I have no trouble accepting everything that you said about this one of mine although with its comparatively thick central ridge, it's the only keris I've ever seen that I WOULD feel secure in slashing with, ie like a real weapon, without fearing that the 20" blade would break (exactly the reason I got it! **grin"")
Age-wise, my own personal feeling is that this one is probably 1930'-1940's, with the wood matching the blade, pamor-wise....... thank you for the information, by the way, as it all fits exactly with what I was told about it.
Here's some better photos of the blade, by the way, taken in shaded daylight instead of midnight 100w incandescent .
With that said, I'll go back to being the observer on this one and hopefuly eliminate some of my confusion.
I now return control of your PC monitor.....uh, wait...that's the Outer Limits! Sorry. **grin**
Mike
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Old 3rd April 2005, 05:45 PM   #18
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Hi Mike. Thanks for the better pics. It's a nice blade, but i wouldn't attempt slashing with it. It has nothing to due with the strength of the blade, but the tang (pesi) and the way the hilt attaches to it. A good slash would be very likely to bend or perhaps even break that tang right off. Indonesian keris were definitely designed as stabbers, not slashers.
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Old 3rd April 2005, 06:32 PM   #19
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Thank you for the advice, and yes I remember reading about the short tangs on keris.
While I DO experiment with some of my pieces, the keris are strictly for display and enjoyment.
Some of the klewangs HAVE been used to clear exuberantly growing tropical Florida foliage on occasion, which has only served to make me admire their function when compared to modern machetes, for example.
One last question, if I may......the ferule on this executioner's keris appears overlarge for the wooden hilt and I notice the same characteristic on Ian's Lombok piece, almost as if sitting on a plate as opposed to the more normal tight fit on a "regular" keris, while both appear to be original to the entire weapon as evidenced from the very nice fit into the throat of the sheath.
Is this typical to any long bladed keris and/or sword from both locations?
As I said, I have NO real knowldege of either area and yet these similarities seem to leap out to my eye, particularly as there is a vast disparity between quality/status and origin of both in regards to Indonesian weapons in general.
Mike
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Old 3rd April 2005, 07:57 PM   #20
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I agree with Nechesh. My first thought was also a Cundrik, but a reshape of a keris panjang is a very good option too.
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Old 4th April 2005, 07:56 PM   #21
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Thumbs up Thanks guys

Thanks to all who have responded.

I doubt that this was formerly a keris panjang. There is no obvious repair to the blade (although it could have been done very well), and the "back" edge of the blade is only sharpened part way -- in much the same manner as a pedang -- which makes me think it did not start life as a keris.

With a Lombok provenance from the previous owner (he collected it there), and the identification of a Cundrik from Lombok high on everyone's list, would it be reasonable to conclude that this sword is a Cundrik?

Ian.
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Old 5th April 2005, 03:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Tell me one thing ; is the base of the ukiran carved so that it fills the gold cup/selut at the base or is that empty space in there ?

Sorry Rick, I did not answer your question. The fit of the handle to the selut has a space that has been filled with a pitch-like material that has been ground to a precise, flush fit to the lip of the selut. Does that make sense?

Ian.
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Old 5th April 2005, 03:48 PM   #23
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Thanks Ian , now that has me thinking .

That method of assembly seems a little suspicious , so now I'm wondering if it is a composite piece .
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Old 5th April 2005, 07:44 PM   #24
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Don't know Rick -- looks original to me, although an old repair or assembly is possible. The matching of the guard to the sheath is perfect, and the guard is integral with the gold cup/selut. I have not seen any others to be able to comment on whether this is a normal arrangement. Perhaps Naga Sasra could help or one of the other Forumites with more specific knowledge than I have.

Ian.
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Old 5th April 2005, 08:36 PM   #25
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Hi Ian , I don't really mean to play the skeptic , but that part of the construction struck me as a little strange . If the piece were used couldn't the exposed edge around the hilt tend to possibly injure the hand that wields it ?
Maybe the original ukiran has been replaced .



/I'm still lovin' it though !
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Old 6th April 2005, 05:43 AM   #26
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Rick:

You could be right.

The feel in hand is very comfortable with that raised cup, and in fact the forefinger and thumb rest naturally around it. I don't think the "edge" would be a problem with a stabbing movement because the disk guard would absorb the forward movement of the hand and the "edge" probably would not be an inconvenience.

It is an unusual construction.

Ian.
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Old 7th April 2005, 03:06 AM   #27
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Default one just like it

I have a sword that is virtually identical to the one in this thread. The ferrule and the oval guard are the same although mine is made of humble brass. The shape of my hilt is the same also except at the base it flairs out so that it fills the cup of the ferrule completely. The prabot on the blade is the same also. The tip on my blade has not been damaged. The double fullers ending in a reinforced tip looks like the tip on some Balinese keris. The scabbard and its attendant metal banding looks the same also except for the fact that mine doesn't have a metal chape. I don't have a digital camera so I can't post pictures but if folks at the forum think they need to see pictures of my blade, I try to borrow a camera from somewhere. I tend to think that the existence of two such similar blades indicates that they are part of an ethnographic type and not a composite made from salvaged blades. This conjecture is strengthened by the presence of the Balinese style tip. I don't ever recall seeing this feature on a Sumatran panjang. Perhaps the similarity in size and shape to a keris panjang is a case of convergent evolution where similarities in customs and fighting styles caused weapons of separate lineages to attain a similar morphology.
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 7th April 2005, 05:13 AM   #28
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Looks Like a balinese pedang
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Old 7th April 2005, 06:14 AM   #29
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Conogre, nice Keris Panjang, any other opinions on the keris. The blade looks older than 20C, at least I have seen a lot older keris panjang with very simular blades. Seems quite a few of these were made in 20C, why?, for collectors market?, or for status reasons? They either seem really old or really new. Sure isn't a lot of info on them.
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Old 7th April 2005, 06:30 PM   #30
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Rob:

Any picture you can provide would be much appreciated.

Ian.
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