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Old 4th March 2022, 03:14 PM   #1
Roland_M
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Default Giant Tenegre Part 2, it is WOOTZ

It is a few years ago, since I wrote my last comment.
I hope, that no one missed me.
Me was thinking, that it could be not the worst idea to show something beautiful in that current dark times. Yes, it is a weapon but definitely nothing for modern conflicts.
In that time I had much to do and was also able to learn a lot of things by self training. For example the treatment of high end low contrast wootz. High End wootz and I mean the stuff for the battlefield often got a very low contrast but extraordinary beautiful patterns. I developed my own, very mild techniques to make low contrast wootz visible.
So here I have now pictures of a recent etching/staining, the technique is between etching and staining. The treatment went not perfect, I was so excited to see a clear pattern, that I forgot to treat the cutting edge. The next attempt is already prepared.

In my eyes it is absolutely sure that we see wootz here. The knobbly structures I highlighted in picture 3a are wootz-exclusive.
Picture 5 shows the blade after polishing with non abrassive metal polish. Picture 7 is the beginning of the differential hardening, this is the only pattern on this blade, visible without etching/staining.

I hope members and anonyme readers will like the pictures and the big question is, where is this blade from? I can add, that the wootz shows similaritys with northern Indian and early ottoman blades. That makes me believe, that a Wootz-smith from India or Turkey went to the Philippines and showed them how to make battlefield ready wootz blades. This sword has seen a lot of combat, I have plenty of evidences for that an my other computer.

I am sure, that there are more Malay wootz-blades but they are very rare and difficult to recognisze.

Best wishes,
Roland

Btw. please no offers on this sword. The grinding, polishing plus my secret chemical treatment alone is worth easily 2000$ and I guess no one is willing to pay for that.
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Last edited by Roland_M; 4th March 2022 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 5th March 2022, 04:54 AM   #2
Lee
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Most attractive! It certainly looks like wootz to me. I expect there are a lot of secrets and much unsuspected beauty hidden among pre-industrial blades waiting to be discovered.

Obviously different, but it also reminds me of Stefan Maeder's work applying Japanese polishing techniques to an old pattern-welded blade.
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Old 7th March 2022, 06:58 AM   #3
kai
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Welcome back, Roland!

Your contributions are much appreciated - I wish more of the SE Asian collectors here would delve into looking into the bladesmithing and material details, too! While most wootz blades found in SEA are from obviously imported blades, there certainly are a few examples of apparently genuine SEA blades made from wootz; most exhibit losses to the wootz due to suboptimal forging temperatures though.

I agree that this really seems to be wootz. Is the reason why you favour a northern Indian (or Ottoman) origin the larger/medium size of the grain? For the time being, I would not exclude a southern Indian origin. It does not have the more linear grain common to Ottoman sham though.

Is the whole blade from wootz, possibly from a single ingot? Any details visible at the back of the blade?

While some smiths did travel around, I'm less convinced that this is the only feasible/possible explanation here: Are there possibly any indications that this blade might have been carved from an imported blank? (Also a really tough job, indeed!)

Regards,
Kai
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Old 7th March 2022, 12:03 PM   #4
Roland_M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai View Post
Welcome back, Roland!

I agree that this really seems to be wootz. Is the reason why you favour a northern Indian (or Ottoman) origin the larger/medium size of the grain? For the time being, I would not exclude a southern Indian origin. It does not have the more linear grain common to Ottoman sham though.

Is the whole blade from wootz, possibly from a single ingot? Any details visible at the back of the blade?

While some smiths did travel around, I'm less convinced that this is the only feasible/possible explanation here: Are there possibly any indications that this blade might have been carved from an imported blank? (Also a really tough job, indeed!)

Regards,
Kai

Hello Kai,

thank you for your comment. The pattern shows some similarities to my huge Kard, which is of indian or afghan origin.
Ottoman wootz is not always Sham, they also had sabers with very fine crystalline patterns. But they are very rare to find. After endless hours of researching I only saw one example in the internet. I will show you pictures of one at your next visit.

The sword is made from one single ingot as far as I can judge and it is absolutely flawless like modern monosteel. I do not believe that it was created from an older sword, with nearly 6 cm width at the widest point. It is too wide for any sword I know. It is also pretty massive with more than 1kg of weight. Too big and too wide for a reshaped blade. I also do not believe, that it is an imported blade, the shape is like many other Tenegre. It was a large ingot and at least the Ottomans were able to forge blades above 1kg of weight from a single ingot.
Which surprises me is the high production standard of this sword. It was forged by an experienced smith, which knew how to bring out the best of the material.
The mentioned quality of the blade is easy to demonstrate. The sword is long (27" without hilt), heavy (1kg+) and it has seen combat. The edge is full of small nicks.
The chiselshaped edge is quite thin and with this weight and length under high stress. The area above the edge is as usual slightly wavy from forging and polishing without flattening the back perfectly. But the edge itself is like on an expensive japanese sword, perfectly even. This thin edge shows not the smallest wave or other deformations.


Regards,
Roland
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Last edited by Roland_M; 7th March 2022 at 12:24 PM.
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