Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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-   -   Twist core fullered blade moro kris for id please (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25229)

chiefheadknocker 22nd August 2019 08:54 PM

Twist core fullered blade moro kris for id please
 
5 Attachment(s)
Hi everyone , this is another recent purchase , a nice moro blade but sadly missing its original hilt and instead someone has given this one ! , i have given it just a quick clean and etch just to see if it showed the core and wow a lovely pattern twist core, i will give the blade a proper clean soon and etch ,
now im in the market to find a decent hilt , if anyone has or knows where i could purchase a good hilt of the same age as the blade please contact me ,
im not ssure of the age but i guess its quite early ? blade length is
45cm

kai 22nd August 2019 10:01 PM

Wow, you seem to be on a lucky shopping spree!

While this has the looks of being an old blade, it does exhibit unusual features. Id need closeups of the base of the blade for a better appraisal!

Regards,
Kai

Battara 23rd August 2019 02:04 AM

I agree with Kai - close ups of the base of the hilt would be helpful.

That being said, it is a nice Sulu blade, perhaps early 1800s, with great twist core. It would be good to get a good polish and etch, and a proper hilt and clamp on it too.

The present hilt looks to be a modern add on.

Ian 23rd August 2019 04:00 AM

Hi chief,

A lovely blade and I agree with Kai and Jose--better pics needed. Congratulations again for a very nice find. I'm not sure whether this one ever had a "stirrup" (can't see any groove on the pics provided or a mark where one or two may have been).

I would say that you need to look no further than Jose (battara) for help with a new hilt, asang asang, etc. He has done some excellent work for me and a number of other folk on this forum.

Ian

chiefheadknocker 23rd August 2019 06:47 AM

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Thanks all , here is a closer pic :)

Gustav 23rd August 2019 01:17 PM

Actually it could possibly be one of the earliest Kris I have seen so far.
Looks like twistcore Pamor was never topographically etched, like this is the case with later blades.

It's very close to the few very big Kerisses from Java from 16th century.
A fantastic blade indeed.

chiefheadknocker 23rd August 2019 06:21 PM

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Here are a few more pictures , i will clean the blade up a little soon but how far do you go , is it ok and wise to clean the blade up , i can sand it down untill its shining or should i leave it in its antique state ?

Ian 23rd August 2019 07:37 PM

Hi chief:

All of the quality examples I have seen in collections or museums have had a well polished blade. In the original culture, an antique and important blade such as this would have been polished well and most likely etched.

At the very least you need to remove the active rust, such as present on the tang. Your latest pics suggest to me that this sword did not have any asang asang during its life (at least, I see no evidence of such) which might also argue for an older transitional piece.

Congrats on another fine addition to your collection.

Ian

chiefheadknocker 23rd August 2019 07:47 PM

Hi Ian
Thanks for your help and guidance , once ive cleaned it up i will then be looking for a suitable hilt , i guess this will be quite difficult but surely not impossible to find ,
regards
chief

Rick 24th August 2019 01:14 AM

Is the tang round?

chiefheadknocker 24th August 2019 06:08 AM

Hi rick , yes the tang is round

kai 24th August 2019 07:55 AM

I'm having the same thoughts as Gustav - I'm far from sure this blade really is Moro. Some features may well point to the Jawa-Bali nexus. I need to dig into this in more detail..

Not all archaic Sulu kalis seem to exhibit a topographic etch though; given the vagaries of traveling blades and subsequent restorations, I don't think we can place much weight on this kind of evidence.

Regards,
Kai

CharlesS 24th August 2019 01:34 PM

The care and precision of chiseling are especially impressive on this blade.

chiefheadknocker 24th August 2019 05:47 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CharlesS
The care and precision of chiseling are especially impressive on this blade.

Hi yes the chiseling is very sharp and deep , i have cleaned the blade which makes it show up a little better

Gustav 24th August 2019 06:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kai
I'm having the same thoughts as Gustav - I'm far from sure this blade really is Moro. Some features may well point to the Jawa-Bali nexus. I need to dig into this in more detail..

Not all archaic Sulu kalis seem to exhibit a topographic etch though; given the vagaries of traveling blades and subsequent restorations, I don't think we can place much weight on this kind of evidence.

Regards,
Kai

Kai, despite this blade being so close to old Java/Bali, I would say, at the moment it looks like a very early Moro blade to me. It's other question if all archaic blades are Sulu blades indeed.

I don't completely understand your point in sentence about topographic etch if it relates to my previous post - maybe my English was wrong or wasn't clear enough. Surely blades travel and are subsequently differently treated - but the absence of topographical etch on an archaic blade makes it "more archaic" in my eyes - I don't think topographical etch was en vogue before the second half of 18th cent.

kai 24th August 2019 10:19 PM

Hello Gustav,

IMHO a topographic etch can also develop on blades that are (gently) kept in polish; this does seem to be quite common with older Bugis-influenced blades. I rather doubt that any topographic etch that leaves a porous and ragged surface (as seen on blades that have been treated according to tastes prevailing in Jawa for the last, say, 200 years or so) have ever been popular with any Moro group.

My comment was more directed to Moro blades taken to the US: there certainly were quite some GIs and later generations of collectors who were ingrained to keep blades clean and shiny which most likely resulted in overzealous "cleaning" of many acquired pieces. It's not that rare to have twistcore blades with pretty smooth surface; I suspect that a good portion of these are the result of misguided attempts outside the originating culture rather than representing any "original" condition nor Moro cultural preferences...

Regards,
Kai

kai 24th August 2019 10:29 PM

Just to point out the obvious: The selut does not fit the hilt. Thus, this ensemble has certainly been fiddled with and we only have the blade to go by. (Since keris fittings can be easily exchanged, being cautious if not paranoid is standard practise when appraising these blades, anyway.)

Even larger closeups from both of the assymetrical sides of the blade would be great! (Please make sure to take them directly from above and with lighting to avoid shadows as much as possible!)

Regards,
Kai

Gustav 25th August 2019 11:37 AM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kai
Hello Gustav,

IMHO a topographic etch can also develop on blades that are (gently) kept in polish; this does seem to be quite common with older Bugis-influenced blades. I rather doubt that any topographic etch that leaves a porous and ragged surface (as seen on blades that have been treated according to tastes prevailing in Jawa for the last, say, 200 years or so) have ever been popular with any Moro group.

My comment was more directed to Moro blades taken to the US: there certainly were quite some GIs and later generations of collectors who were ingrained to keep blades clean and shiny which most likely resulted in overzealous "cleaning" of many acquired pieces. It's not that rare to have twistcore blades with pretty smooth surface; I suspect that a good portion of these are the result of misguided attempts outside the originating culture rather than representing any "original" condition nor Moro cultural preferences...

Regards,
Kai

Kai,

topographical etch is described by Newbold in 1839 an is absolutely common thing for Bugis influenced or genuinely Buginese blades with pamor. I would say, on most Moro Kris with twistcore pattern the center panel displaying twistcore will be more or less strongly topographically etched.

To polish a topographically etched twistcore panel until it's absolutely even is a hell of a work even for GI's and collectors obsessed with blade polishing, and after that procedure most of the twistcore will be gone, or you are gone through to other side of the (twisted) bar and that results in quite strange patterns.

A Moro blade with absolutely smooth twistcore pattern is something quite rare and probably will be from a period in which the Pamor wasn't commonly topographically etched. There are even a lot of archaic blades with straight Gonjo, which will be topographically etched, see the pic.

Here a thread with a topographically etched archaic Moro blade:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17894

(If I remember correctly, Ron's example here with smooth twistcore also has a round tang.)

That would possibly place the CHK's blade even earlier as those.

Regards,
Gustav

chiefheadknocker 25th August 2019 12:40 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by kai
Just to point out the obvious: The selut does not fit the hilt. Thus, this ensemble has certainly been fiddled with and we only have the blade to go by. (Since keris fittings can be easily exchanged, being cautious if not paranoid is standard practise when appraising these blades, anyway.)

Even larger closeups from both of the assymetrical sides of the blade would be great! (Please make sure to take them directly from above and with lighting to avoid shadows as much as possible!)

Regards,
Kai

Hi Kai
i have taken a couple more pictures , it very difficult to get a good clear one ,
heres my attempt,
Thanks for evryones comments and input regarding this blade , im learning alot !

Rick 25th August 2019 04:40 PM

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I doubt that this one was over zealously polished by someone outside the culture. :shrug:

Looks like I have to do a little polishing though. :o

Battara 25th August 2019 06:02 PM

Many very early kris had round tangs. I agree with Gavin - not Javanese/Bali but Moro, and perhaps one of the earliest I've seen. Thank you again for posting this. Looks better than before.

It is also possible that if it has twist core, the pattern might be subtle and not so distinct. I have one from around 1800 (my estimate) that fits this catagory.

chiefheadknocker 26th August 2019 07:17 PM

Hi , when i first bought this blade i never though it could be javanese /bali , my first intsinct was moro , im no expert and so will have to go with your judgment and thanks to everyone who has put some input into solving this one , i now have the task to find an antique hilt somewhere if i ever find one at all :)

Sajen 26th August 2019 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chiefheadknocker
... , i now have the task to find an antique hilt somewhere if i ever find one at all :)

This could need a very long time! :shrug: I still look for a pommel only for this kris since this thread posted: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...hlight=archaic ;) :D

Regards,
Detlef

Ian 27th August 2019 02:37 AM

Hi chief:

Just my final comment on this one. I agree with the sentiment that this is an early form of the Moro kris, resembling a Balinese keris but more likely Moro in origin. The dimensions are also very similar to known archaic examples of the Moro kris.

I mentioned the word "transitional" above in reference to the style, and the absence of the stirrup feature is an important observation IMHO. This is how I would imagine the early Moro adaptations, but of course we don't know if this is exactly how they looked or when this sword was made. Could it be from the 16th or 17th C? Perhaps, although I also think it could be a later piece made in an earlier style. Either way, it is an important reference point for future discussion of how the Moro kris may have evolved from its keris cousins.

You seem to have a talent for finding these rare pieces! Keep searching ...

Regards,

Ian


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