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Old 19th May 2022, 02:38 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kino View Post
Here’s another hilt to throw in the mix.
Too bad a detailed image of the hilt is unavailable.
Great pic! Wish we knew who had that bad boy!!! Did you find that on this forum?? I think I’ve seen that pic before, but don’t remember from where.
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Old 19th May 2022, 03:23 AM   #62
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I believe I hijacked the photo from one of the discussions here on the Forums.
I think it came from an old book printed in France.
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Old 19th May 2022, 12:24 PM   #63
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A complete, high quality, and possibly early form of this hilt:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13785
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Old 19th May 2022, 01:25 PM   #64
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A complete, high quality, and possibly early form of this hilt:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13785
Thanks for this, was just looking at this yesterday. There's remarkable similarity regarding the carving placement (different okir though) between that kris with mine.
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Old 25th May 2022, 02:59 PM   #65
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A complete, high quality, and possibly early form of this hilt:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13785
Wow… another great thread! Your comments in that original thread linking back to a possible Chinese connection to this form is compelling. It also ties into the know time period placements and the potential origin of the hilt form. Obviously it continued to migrate to some extent, but these seem to be far more rare that the common forms.

Thank you so much for the light pointed in another direction!!
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Old 4th March 2023, 02:51 AM   #66
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Will work on getting a few pics as requested.

Working theory:

Blades from left to right: Maranao (left); Sulu (double fuller with twist core) (middle); Malay (double fuller with twist core) (right)

The weight of the Malay blade(much lighter) and the corse grain of the steel are significantly different from the other two blade. Also the silver wrapping style of the Left most krisÂ’ hilt is a style seen in Malay kris.

With that said input or theories are definitely welcome and appreciated.

A discussion around the Garuda and symbolism is also welcome. The two archaic kris hilt style, carving and form start to give some basis for comparison. If there are other forum members with examples of this style of hilt form I would also encourage posting those for us to all compare and contrast.

SS
It is an interesting quandary indeed.

I've reached out to others who are members here too to discuss these types. Hence my interest in securing what I did this week.

I'm on the fence with a few things, all due to the lack of hard factual evidence.. or at the very least a solid clue to pursue....

Strong Malay influence to my eye, Sulu influenced, for sure, this points to the direction of the provenanced example you secured, the northern coast line of Borneo...

It was certainly a small enclave given the known numbers of the type.

To me, clearly a level of hierarchy/wealth within the locality given the broad variations of hulu quality.

I don't think blade type, given the trade and regional positioning of the area, can be taken as gospel as to original origins of the type.

I feel the devil in the detail lays in the hulu and perhaps the sampir, given that these are what is displayed openly from a cultural point of view. Visually reading this in the day to day context said exactly what it needed to.

Just a little food for thought...

Gav
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Old 4th March 2023, 03:08 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by kino View Post
Here’s another hilt to throw in the mix.
Too bad a detailed image of the hilt is unavailable.
The best I can do with the image from the book...hope it helps
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Old 4th March 2023, 11:16 PM   #68
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The best I can do with the image from the book...hope it helps
Well the detailed pics from your new piece will definitely expand the discussion!! My thoughts on these pieces are far from definitive but I still feel the distinct subset of this form is significant.
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Old 5th March 2023, 01:19 AM   #69
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I believe I hijacked the photo from one of the discussions here on the Forums.
I think it came from an old book printed in France.
P. Holstein,Contribution ŕ l'Etude des Armes Orientales, Paris 1931
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Old 5th March 2023, 01:43 AM   #70
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I'll throw this link into the mix for you to ponder. While this theory received some amount of resistance if i recall properly i am somewhat drawn to it, though i cannot say it is at all conclusive. But i would suggest that your highlighted areas are representative of wings, but perhaps not in the orientation that you are expecting. I have not yet found there to be any significant evidence that the kakatu (cockatoo) bird has any cultural significance to Moro peoples, so using it in abstract for the pommel design on not one, but two of their most iconic weapons (Kris and Barung) seems a bit strange. But we can indeed find significance in the legend of the Sarimanok and when exampled with the blade pointing upward we can see a very clear abstract of a bird that quite resembles the Sarimanok.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=sarimanok
Coming back to this image and the previous discussion about what the hulu actually could be... I see this image has not been presented to the previous discussion....I've not delved in the the accession of the item, but the iconography is clear to me even if not regionally specific.

The other image, another from online that to my eyes fits within the subgroup too.
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Old 5th March 2023, 01:58 AM   #71
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I see the icon as such... see annotations within the image.
I see Ian sees it the same way... maybe it is because we are all upside down in AU?
But, TBF, you only have to look at the shadow it casts too....
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Old 5th March 2023, 04:30 AM   #72
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Default Off on a tangent, a big swing off tangent

Ok, so, off on a BIG tangent I go, and don't be mean now, the parallels are purely visual speculation but hard to ignore visually.

I got thinking about how I see the Datu Hulu iconography, as seen above with the annotations.

I thought then to delve in to the the headrest image I shared and its point of origins being Cenderawasih Bay... certainly a Sarimanok to my eyes...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenderawasih_Bay

I went down a totally unfounded but very possible relationship in so far as cartography and the iconic Datu hulu goes, and overarching ancient spiritually belief of this magical bird, as represented by ... The PNG land mass which bares a striking resemblance in new maps and old maps of the period...

Is there something in this mythologically that we are missing?
I've no time today to go further down this rabbit warren in interest... perhaps others can?

From a cartographer point of view, is this very object discussed visually... tell me it's not
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Old 5th March 2023, 02:47 PM   #73
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Ok, so, off on a BIG tangent I go, and don't be mean now, the parallels are purely visual speculation but hard to ignore visually.

I got thinking about how I see the Datu Hulu iconography, as seen above with the annotations.

I thought then to delve in to the the headrest image I shared and its point of origins being Cenderawasih Bay... certainly a Sarimanok to my eyes...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenderawasih_Bay

I went down a totally unfounded but very possible relationship in so far as cartography and the iconic Datu hulu goes, and overarching ancient spiritually belief of this magical bird, as represented by ... The PNG land mass which bares a striking resemblance in new maps and old maps of the period...

Is there something in this mythologically that we are missing?
I've no time today to go further down this rabbit warren in interest... perhaps others can?

From a cartographer point of view, is this very object discussed visually... tell me it's not
Gavin,

Wow… the cartography angle is totally wild and I SEE it!!! That would be almost nuts as the makers of the blades could hardly have been able to have conceptually known the similarities. What a rabbit hole!!! I love it!!
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Old 5th March 2023, 03:38 PM   #74
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Pareidolia can be very strong, but even so that is eerily similar.
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Old 5th March 2023, 04:03 PM   #75
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Gavin,

Wow… the cartography angle is totally wild and I SEE it!!! That would be almost nuts as the makers of the blades could hardly have been able to have conceptually known the similarities. What a rabbit hole!!! I love it!!
cartography is ancient , so, it may have been possible...although one would have to wonder why they would have chosen that particular profile among all the islands... if not because Papua New Guinea resembles a Kakatua or Cockatoo .

Now the circle really round
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Old 5th March 2023, 07:56 PM   #76
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Gavin,

Wow… the cartography angle is totally wild and I SEE it!!! That would be almost nuts as the makers of the blades could hardly have been able to have conceptually known the similarities. What a rabbit hole!!! I love it!!
As Werecow notes, it is an ancient art...

When looking at this map and it's age and date of "publication" in Manila, is it much of a stretch that they knew of the PNG shape? Records show the Malay raided as far as the west coast of PNG.... this may even explain why Twist core was seen as far as Maluku.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultan...or._Y_Capn.jpg

As a side note, I had some time to read last night and the head rest I supplied the image of is reputed as being a rooster I can see some likeness but as the same time, some aspects don't line up stylistically to my mind.
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Old 7th March 2023, 12:16 AM   #77
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As a side note, I had some time to read last night and the head rest I supplied the image of is reputed as being a rooster I can see some likeness but as the same time, some aspects don't line up stylistically to my mind.
To be more accurate, the "other rooster" or sarimanok. It is a stylized mythical rooster from the Moro peoples. So the pommel of the mid 1800s and later resemble more the sarimanok head in the minds of many.
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Old 7th March 2023, 03:01 AM   #78
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Again I would call attention to the representations that are both common and distinct in this form.

1. The floral pattern on the crown of the “Garuda” form are not found in the other Moro Kris hilts, yet the blades on these archaic seem to have elements that would tie them back to the Moro craftsman.

2. The wings on the side profile of many of the pieces I’ve located are typical of the more common forms. This seems to be a linkage that should not be ignored.

3. The front and back of the form have a possible reference to the gateway to “heaven” or the afterlife.

I am personally still draw to a blending of the majority Islamic faith and a mix of Chinese Buddhism or remnant Hindu faith that was still present in the area. But definitely open to thoughts from other members.
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Old 7th March 2023, 03:47 AM   #79
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1. The floral pattern on the crown of the “Garuda” form are not found in the other Moro Kris hilts, yet the blades on these archaic seem to have elements that would tie them back to the Moro craftsman.
I'll spend some time aligning my thoughts later in the week, but at face value, and no doubt the crutch of the matter that muddies the origins question for me is that I see Sulu motifs, Malay motifs and Boreo motifs within many aspects of the hulu and the dress these are sometimes found in... finding that consistent common and undeniable theme within all seems quite the challenge... equally, most blades as you note are distinctly Moro/Sulu... the adventure continues

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2. The wings on the side profile of many of the pieces I’ve located are typical of the more common forms. This seems to be a linkage that should not be ignored.
This aspect reminds me somewhat of the pronounced part of Malaysian/Patani Coteng and to a much lesser degree, the side panels on the Tajong which are more vegetation motifs and not pronounced.

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3. The front and back of the form have a possible reference to the gateway to “heaven” or the afterlife.
At the same time I see a metamorphous in process through various examples, not unlike the various stages other Keris hulu forms are found in other regions.

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Old 7th March 2023, 03:59 AM   #80
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Another little side track... so many unique things to the regions .. there is this old thread of an interesting pommel and the image Battara provided...

Whilst not purely of the type, it is interesting to note the upright ancestor like position, and that it looks to be gold from the enhanced photo, also carries what appears to be two seperate rings on and below the pommel, rings that appear to have grip straps running either side of the hulu... complete with very interesting side panels too... Datu Piang and a most interesting hulu.

Note the shirt he is wearing too... very much akin to the Mirror Panels Gustav brought to the forum some time ago...

And this linky...it shows more of the type....

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?p=162113
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Old 8th March 2023, 10:52 AM   #81
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I'm posting these images here too in the hope of bringing more light on the "type"

Stylistically, it is of the subgroup, simply refined in a different manner.

This is in the Malaysian National museum in Kuala Lumpur.
I have not delved into the accession of this piece. It may offer insights.
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Old 10th March 2023, 05:30 AM   #82
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Again I would call attention to the representations that are both common and distinct in this form.

1. The floral pattern on the crown of the “Garuda” form are not found in the other Moro Kris hilts, yet the blades on these archaic seem to have elements that would tie them back to the Moro craftsman.

2. The wings on the side profile of many of the pieces I’ve located are typical of the more common forms. This seems to be a linkage that should not be ignored.

3. The front and back of the form have a possible reference to the gateway to “heaven” or the afterlife.

I am personally still draw to a blending of the majority Islamic faith and a mix of Chinese Buddhism or remnant Hindu faith that was still present in the area. But definitely open to thoughts from other members.
I think this is a possibility. Certainly Hindu, then Buddhist, then Islamic influences came to the Philippines long ago, and probably merged in styles without knowing their origins.

Also the "gates" may have their origins in the vegetable motifs in Islam and earlier. But I do agree that the top one looks like the gate found on some Islamic prayer mats.

As for the "wings" I still hold that they are more the stylized "eyes" found on danganan, junggayan, and 17c kris pommels.

Great carvings and good to have them with twist cores.
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Old 10th March 2023, 05:58 AM   #83
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Also the "gates" may have their origins in the vegetable motifs in Islam and earlier. But I do agree that the top one looks like the gate found on some Islamic prayer mats.
Great analogy Battara. The Mihrab came to mind when considering the motif... there may be something in the repeated pattern on the pommel, like stepping through doors.

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/449537
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Old 14th March 2023, 03:51 AM   #84
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So...whilst cleaning out my phone of photos I planned for Instagram, I came across this and it hit me... these Brunei and Sarawak hilts very much resemble the upright and floral nature of many of these Sundang hulu, including the silver collar and rings.

I see the resemblance as a direct link culturally, and with the distinct Tausug canted pommels too,(from a general shape point of view), and the long time interactions between nations, along with the settling of Northern Borneo by the Tausug.

Some of these Tausug pommels also carry rather interesting related motifs too...

Gavin
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Old 14th March 2023, 11:57 AM   #85
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A little further visual interpretation from my perspective...

Given the Malay/Borneo and Sulu flavour of these Sundang, a Sarawak Sadap and Latok to consider...

Again, when viewed like this, and in particular the Sadap, it is akin to the two examples initially presented, those with the carved ivory pommels.

Further to this, and by no means are silver rings new to silver sword handles, but I pay particular attention to their placement in relation to the upright ancestral Jawa Demam types Sundang hilts with the three rings and where they are positioned on the hilts.

I think it is more than a little casual coincidence and perhaps there is a whole lot more to this that first meets the eye.

Now, to add a little more spice to the discussion, although I am writing to myself too often with the fascinating post, have a look at this stunning old Kampilan and consider others in your collections with what the description within the link provides, where my idle ramblings are concerned...
https://www.britishmuseum.org/collec..._As1954-07-194

Battara touched on the alignment and crossover of faiths and worship in the regions and I had my doubts about Garuda being the correct term for these and part of me still does to some degree, perhaps it is spot on.

Correct me if I am wrong but Garuda could travel between heaven and earth, somewhat makes sense to carry this symbolism on a weapon which can take one from earth to "Heaven", but alas I don't feel that was the intent though this speculation of mine...

Interesting are the Biblical references within the script on the Kampilan and that Garuda is the enemy of all snakes... does that include Satan?
Perhaps these hilts are some very real spiritual protective motifs

What I found interesting was the last Angel mentioned. Azra’il (Azrael, angel of death). When looking at the typical Kampilan hilt, there is a coin to one side... is this the coin that covers the eye when one makes the trip to the afterworld, an eye one side, a coin or token the other, symbolising the ability of the iconography to transcend both planes perhaps?
Not a stretch given the importance of the text on Kampilan in the British Museum and just how old the coin on the eyes of the dead is and how far and wide it spread...

But alas, I ramble down this road because the Museum's Biblical translations and the notation of both garuda and Jawa Demam which is the same quandary found in this thread... several lines of faith aligning in the most unusual places...
Further to this, I present the Latoks because of the Floral eye which feels very deliberately placed, which is like the Kampilan eye position discussed/pictured, and where they are both concerned, they even have the line shapes leaving the eye...

Perhaps these hulu are Garuda... I do not know, I only wanted to share my thoughts about the plausible thoughts behind the iconography of ancestor worship in these regions that share common trade and ancestors.

Gavin
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Old 14th March 2023, 08:41 PM   #86
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A little further visual interpretation from my perspective...

Given the Malay/Borneo and Sulu flavour of these Sundang, a Sarawak Sadap and Latok to consider...

Again, when viewed like this, and in particular the Sadap, it is akin to the two examples initially presented, those with the carved ivory pommels.

Further to this, and by no means are silver rings new to silver sword handles, but I pay particular attention to their placement in relation to the upright ancestral Jawa Demam types Sundang hilts with the three rings and where they are positioned on the hilts.

I think it is more than a little casual coincidence and perhaps there is a whole lot more to this that first meets the eye.

Now, to add a little more spice to the discussion, although I am writing to myself too often with the fascinating post, have a look at this stunning old Kampilan and consider others in your collections with what the description within the link provides, where my idle ramblings are concerned...
https://www.britishmuseum.org/collec..._As1954-07-194

Battara touched on the alignment and crossover of faiths and worship in the regions and I had my doubts about Garuda being the correct term for these and part of me still does to some degree, perhaps it is spot on.

Correct me if I am wrong but Garuda could travel between heaven and earth, somewhat makes sense to carry this symbolism on a weapon which can take one from earth to "Heaven", but alas I don't feel that was the intent though this speculation of mine...

Interesting are the Biblical references within the script on the Kampilan and that Garuda is the enemy of all snakes... does that include Satan?
Perhaps these hilts are some very real spiritual protective motifs

What I found interesting was the last Angel mentioned. Azra’il (Azrael, angel of death). When looking at the typical Kampilan hilt, there is a coin to one side... is this the coin that covers the eye when one makes the trip to the afterworld, an eye one side, a coin or token the other, symbolising the ability of the iconography to transcend both planes perhaps?
Not a stretch given the importance of the text on Kampilan in the British Museum and just how old the coin on the eyes of the dead is and how far and wise it spread...

But alas, I ramble down this road because the Museum's Biblical translations and the notation of both garuda and Jawa Demam which is the same quandary found in this thread... several lines of faith aligning in the most unusual places...
Further to this, I present the Latoks because of the Floral eye which feels very deliberately placed, which is like the Kampilan eye position discussed/pictured, and where they are both concerned, they even have the line shapes leaving the eye...

Perhaps these hulu are Garuda... I do not know, I only wanted to share my thoughts about the plausible thoughts behind the iconography of ancestor worship in these regions that share common trade and ancestors.

Gavin
Gavin,

This is a great addition to the discussion!! Again I am only making a hypothesis that the hilt form could be a representation of Garuda… but the hilts you’ve brought forward definitely add interesting possibilities. As a reminder the Garuda symbolism travels through SE Asia in different forms and the merging of imagery specifically in the Southern Philippines area is well documented. The question becomes more interesting the further we dig… and that’s what is compelling for me personally.

Please let me know when you are able to put eyes on your newest example so we can really dig into its forms and symbols!!

SS
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Old 16th March 2023, 12:13 AM   #87
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SS

It is still a few weeks away... will share more when in hand.

With regards to the Coteng "wing" reference made earlier, this is what I mean, seen in the images.

Perhaps one of our Thai readers can offer the translation?

A Tajong drawing showing the same area, which is a large carved panel on the Tajong.

The last image, similar side panels are found on this Jambi Penghulu... apologies for the orientation of the image, just how it uploaded...

Gavin
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Old 23rd March 2023, 02:18 PM   #88
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I'm surprised no one picked up on this for the archives... an absolute stunner in every respect.
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Old 24th March 2023, 03:10 AM   #89
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Here’s an odd one.
Small in size. Brass / copper alloy blade. Carving on the hilt could be a Tree of Life motif.
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Old 24th March 2023, 04:40 PM   #90
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Hello Albert,

You already added pics of this piece earlier in this thread.

Here's another example with heavily stylized pommel (from Lonna's & Dave's collection: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17894).

Regards,
Kai
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