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Old 27th October 2021, 01:39 AM   #10
Ian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
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Hi Rob,

Those additional pictures confirm my initial impression.

First, and most important, is that the blade is not a true maréchausée sabel (aka, Dutch klewang). It does not conform to the Dutch pattern (or swords based on it and made elsewhere). The ricasso is too long and the clipped point is too shallow. The fullers are poorly cut and of uneven width. You may also find that the blade is shorter than the standard length.

Second, the hilt seems to be (loosely) based on a Dutch naval officer's saber (Model 1882). The gilded brass hilt on that sword has a solid D-guard with a lion's head pommel and backstrap, and a segmented bone grip with twisted wire. The hilt on your example is poorly cast and roughly finished. The backstrap shows coarse grind marks along the seam of the mold.

Adding all of this together, what you have is an Indonesian copy of a Dutch klewang blade to which has been fitted a copy of the M 1882 Naval Officer's saber hilt. Indigenous copies of Dutch swords were fairly common, especially as you have noted in Tjikeroeh, so this sword falls into a recognized genre. I think your example was made pre-WWII because it appears to have some age and that was when local copies of Dutch swords were most prevalent.

As for the VOC mark, this is clearly "fanciful" (as Kai has noted). The Dutch klewang was introduced in 1905, more than 100 years after the VOC ceased to exist (the VOC was nationalized in 1796 and abolished on December 31, 1799). Added to that the mark has been struck upside down and does not conform to standard VOC marks. Again, this is characteristic of local indigenous manufacture.

Regards,

Ian


Standard VOC mark: Note the serif font and presence of wider downstrokes than upstrokes.
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Last edited by Ian; 27th October 2021 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Spelling
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