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rockelk 26th August 2019 12:27 AM

Indonesian blade ?
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Purchased from West Sumatera, Indonesia. The blade is convex in cross section, measures 18 x 1 1/2 x 3/8 and is forged with some rust and oxidization. The sheath was damaged in shipping (thanks FedEx). I repaired what I could,

But, what classification, what to label it? Should the blade be cleaned and or etched? Do any of the members refinish their sheaths? In advance thank you for any comments.

A. G. Maisey 26th August 2019 09:04 AM

This is a Javanese pedhang. The word "pedhang" means "sword".

Some people would classify this as a "pedhang sabet", but this is wrong, because both "pedhang" and "sabet" have exactly the same meaning, pedhang is low level (ngoko), sabet is high level (krama inggil).

It is actually a little bit to short for a standard pedhang, and again, some would want to classify as "pedhang luwuk" because of its short length, I would not classify as this because the profile does not fit.

The name "pedhang" is enough.This type, usually a bit longer, is perhaps the most common type of Javanese sword.

Ideally this blade would be cleaned and stained, but this is not a simple job because you need arsenic to do it, the people who do this in Indonesia have taken years to learn how to do it properly, and to go through the learning process for one sword blade seems a bit unnecessary to me.

In any case, the stain it has at the moment is not too bad.

I'd be inclined to drench it daily for a week or so with WD40, or soak in WD40 for a week or so, then wash thoroughly with a toothbrush and dishwash liquid under warm running water, dry thoroughly with a lint free cloth and a hairdryer, spray again with WD40, let it dry off overnight and then apply protective oil.

This protective oil would be scented in Jawa, but in the West, many people prefer a good quality gun oil.

To protect against future deterioration it should be stored in a plastic sleeve when wet with the oil. If you keep ferric material in contact with cellulose material, it will eventually rust.

The dress is recent, it is in poor condition and in Jawa this would be given a complete recondition.

Incidentally, I would most gently suggest that the fault for damage in transit to this pedhang should not be placed at the feet of the carrier, but
that the person who packed it for carriage perhaps did not really have a very good idea of the type of packing that is necessary to get a fragile item from one country to another without damage.

In my experience, which in this respect is considerable, it is very rare for anything that is sent from Indonesia to be adequately packed.

David R 26th August 2019 10:17 AM

I am intrigued by the mention of scented oil, what would be the usual oil, and how scented. I am familiar with Choji oil, tsubaki oil scented with clove from my Japanese blades

A. G. Maisey 26th August 2019 01:24 PM

Probably the most usual oil is sandalwood mixed with a base oil, in Jawa mostly with coconut oil, which s a very bad choice, but its cheap, and what is mostly used.

My oil is sandalwood + kenongo in a base of medicinal paraffin.

Other people use other mixes, melati, jasmine, even some commercial perfumes.

David R 26th August 2019 05:55 PM

Thank you for responding, being a bit of an obsessive the subject of traditional oils and maintenance interest me. Would this be a good choice for a Keris?... While googling found a conversation here about that very thing. Time to get some nice oils I think.

rockelk 27th August 2019 03:26 AM

Thanks to all
Yes the shipper was also negligent also. In fact he returned my purchase, quite admirable. I used to run a metallurgical lab. I looked up the arsenic etching procedure, it doesn't appear that complicated, just done with lots of awareness and caution in a remote area. Did I miss something or is there more unsaid, akin to the Black Arts? With Regards.

A. G. Maisey 27th August 2019 04:28 AM

Getting hold of lab. quality arsenic trioxide is not easy. A way around arsenic trioxide can be found by using realgar, but there is no consistency in realgar and you could buy and try a number of lots of realgar and still not get a satisfactory result.

Learning a correct process can be learnt by anybody with patience.

Knowing what the item should look like when finished probably takes around 5 to 10 years of daily exposure to pamor blades to learn.

To go to the trouble of learning how to get even a passable result for one pedang blade is in my opinion pretty much a waste of time. On the other hand, if your collecting interests are pointing in the direction of S.E. Asia and pamor blades, it could be time well spent.

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