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Old 8th August 2014, 07:53 PM   #1
Robert
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Question New Interesting Philippine Bolo

This is another one of those items that I just could not pass up on after seeing it. Why I do this is beyond my understanding, thankfully it was very reasonably priced. As I have seen bolos with painted hilts before, but even the 9 inch blade on this one has had something (hopefully just more paint) done to it as well. I'm interested in knowing if the paint on the hilt of this should be left "as is" or removed? It would be interesting to see what is beneath all that gaudy makeup and see if the hilt is made from horn or wood, but if this was originally meant to be like this (which I surely hope it was not) I do not want to disturb it. As this seems to have a monster hilt with steel ferrule, short tang but not a chisel edged blade (something that would be expected on a Visayan piece) any comments as to where it might originally be from and an estimate of its possible age would be greatly appreciated. Because it has not arrived I can only post the auction photos and they leave a lot to be desired in quality.

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Robert
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Old 8th August 2014, 08:29 PM   #2
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Hello Robert,

very interesting bolo! Have not seen it by ebay, I think that I have to refine my search! Hard to say if you should remove the paint and even difficult to say if it was done in the Philippines or later in the States. But I read between your words that you tend to do it, be careful by this.
Where it is from is a balky query as well, I would lean towards the Visayas, not all blades from there has a chisel edged blade, special when the blades in knife/dagger length. You have shown shortly a blade with a similar monster hilt when I remember correct. The scabbard has a Visayan touch as well. Or Bicol maybe? The scabbard shows a good age and patina, turn of the last century?

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 8th August 2014, 10:20 PM   #3
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Hello Detlef, Yes if the removal of the paint should prove to be the correct action to take (if this was done after being collected) I would be very happy. I am aware of the possibility that this could prove to be a Visayas knife and for an example I have a gunong with a blade very similar in overall appearance to the one shown here and the other small knife with the monster hilt and chisel edged blade that you have made reference to. Unfortunately neither of those two items had their original scabbards to help with their identification when acquired. I was hoping that someone would recognise the unusual almost staple like metal retainer that helps to hold the two halves of the scabbard of this knife together or the way the part of the scabbard that helps hold this secure to a belt or sash when being worn is carved. In your estimation of the age of this knife I am in full agreement for the same reasons you have already pointed out.

Best,
Robert
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Old 8th August 2014, 11:36 PM   #4
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I SUSPECT THE PAINT JOB WAS DONE BY THE OWNER AND THAT HE WAS LIKELY A FILIPINO. WHAT WE CONSIDER GAUDY AND A USE OF TOO BRIGHT OF COLOR THEY OFTEN FIND PRETTY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT TAKE A LOOK AT THE JEEPNEYS AROUND MANILA. THE PAINT LOOKS TO BE MODERN SO LIKELY WW2 OR LATER. I HAVE SEEN THE PAINTED HANDLES BEFORE ESPECIALLY ON THE TALIBON/ GARAB SMALLER KNIVES. IT IS LIKELY WE DON'T SEE EXAMPLES LIKE THIS VERY OFTEN BECAUSE THE FOREIGNERS ESPECIALLY FROM THE USA & ENGLAND WOULD FIND THE COLORS GARISH AND TACKY. THE SPANISH ON THE OTHER HAND LIKE BRIGHT COLOR BUT PERHAPS NOT ON THEIR KNIVES ALTHOUGH MUCH OF THE MODERN TOLEDO SOUVENIR SWORDS AND KNIVES ARE VERY BRIGHT, COLORFUL AND ORNATE. SO ITS UP TO YOU AS WHAT TO DO AND YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER IDEA WHEN YOU HAVE IT IN HAND.
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Old 8th August 2014, 11:39 PM   #5
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Hello Robert,

the staple like iron retainer I've never seen before but I am nearle sure that this dagger scabbard : http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ilippine+knife from my collection has had once a very similar belt hook also when it is now carved away maybe because it was broken at one point of it's history. It's not good to seen on my pictures but when you hold it in your hands you would most probable agree that it was of a similar construction. But it's still a guess.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 8th August 2014, 11:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
I SUSPECT THE PAINT JOB WAS DONE BY THE OWNER AND THAT HE WAS LIKELY A FILIPINO. WHAT WE CONSIDER GAUDY AND A USE OF TOO BRIGHT OF COLOR THEY OFTEN FIND PRETTY. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT TAKE A LOOK AT THE JEEPNEYS AROUND MANILA. THE PAINT LOOKS TO BE MODERN SO LIKELY WW2 OR LATER. I HAVE SEEN THE PAINTED HANDLES BEFORE ESPECIALLY ON THE TALIBON/ GARAB SMALLER KNIVES. IT IS LIKELY WE DON'T SEE EXAMPLES LIKE THIS VERY OFTEN BECAUSE THE FOREIGNERS ESPECIALLY FROM THE USA & ENGLAND WOULD FIND THE COLORS GARISH AND TACKY. THE SPANISH ON THE OTHER HAND LIKE BRIGHT COLOR BUT PERHAPS NOT ON THEIR KNIVES ALTHOUGH MUCH OF THE MODERN TOLEDO SOUVENIR SWORDS AND KNIVES ARE VERY BRIGHT, COLORFUL AND ORNATE. SO ITS UP TO YOU AS WHAT TO DO AND YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER IDEA WHEN YOU HAVE IT IN HAND.
Very very good point Barry!
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Old 9th August 2014, 01:22 AM   #7
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Hello Barry, and thank you for verifying what I had mentioned in the first post that some of the Philippines bolos did have their hilts painted. I've seen some in blues and yellows that I swear would glow in the dark. I am hoping that when this arrives the paint smells really fresh so that I could write it off as newly done as I would then have no qualms about its removal. As for this piece, are you saying that the bolo itself was likely made post WWII or just the paint job and do you have any thoughts as to what region this style of knife might have originated from?

Hello Detlef, Unfortunately with the large amount of wood that has broken or been carved away from the scabbard shown in the link you provided the belt hook could have been in just about any shape imaginable. I know that I have seen this shape of belt hook/retainer on another item before so now the hunt to locate that photo begins.

Best,
Robert

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Old 9th August 2014, 03:01 AM   #8
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ITS ALWAYS DIFFICULT TO ACCURATELY PLACE A AGE ON A ITEM ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE IT IN HAND. BUT I WILL TRY TO EXPLAIN MY REASONING ON THIS KNIFE. MY BEST GUESS , FOR SOME REASON I THINK LUZON ISLAND AND DUE TO THE STEEL FERRULE AND BAND ON THE SCABBARD WW2 OR LATER. THE BLADE MAY OR MAY NOT BE OLDER THAN THE FITTINGS AND THE SCABBARD MAY BE OLDER THAN THE METAL BANDS OR IT MAY ALL HAVE BEEN DONE AT THE SAME TIME. WHEN AND WHY THE PAINT WAS ADDED COULD ONLY BE ANSWERED BY THE ONE WHO DID IT BUT I DON'T THINK IT IS MUCH MORE RECENT THAN THE HANDLE BUT IT DOES LOOK LIKE WW2 OR NEWER PAINT. ITS ALWAYS INTERESTING TO SEE AND DISCUSS THESE ITEMS ALTHOUGH THEY ARE NOT THE CLASSIC TRADITIONAL FORMS.
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Old 9th August 2014, 03:55 AM   #9
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Robert:

Interesting piece and I don't find the painted hilt a distraction. This is the third or fourth example I have seen that would seem to have come from Luzon. The wood "hanger" on the scabbard is occasionally seen in central Luzon, and a recent example I showed from Apalit had such an arrangement (see the scabbard for the fat-belly bolo in Post #1 of this thread http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18769).

I also have a modern example of a painted hilt on a late 20th C barung (purchased 1998) that probably came from the Lake Lanao or Palawan area. Here are some pictures of that one:













The painting in this case seems to have occurred at the time of manufacture.

Ian.
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Old 9th August 2014, 05:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
ITS ALWAYS DIFFICULT TO ACCURATELY PLACE A AGE ON A ITEM ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE IT IN HAND.
Quote:
AND DUE TO THE STEEL FERRULE AND BAND ON THE SCABBARD WW2 OR LATER.
This is very true. I am just trying to get a few ideas on this piece before it arrives. As for the paint, the only part that I find a little over the top is the paint on the blade itself, but at the same time I also realize that even though to my taste it is quite ugly it has helped over the years to protect the blade from rust. Though not always the case I was under the impression that the brazed steel ferrules and bands on Luzon pieces were usually used as an indicator of being older while their brass equivalents usually indicated a possible later date of construction as brass like aluminum was more readily available after the turn of the 20th century. I think that I have an identification of who or what the hilt represents, it is Lrrr, Ruler Of The Planet Omicron Persei 8.

Best,
Robert
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Old 9th August 2014, 11:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANDOO
MY BEST GUESS , FOR SOME REASON I THINK LUZON ISLAND AND DUE TO THE STEEL FERRULE AND BAND ON THE SCABBARD WW2 OR LATER. THE BLADE MAY OR MAY NOT BE OLDER THAN THE FITTINGS AND THE SCABBARD MAY BE OLDER THAN THE METAL BANDS OR IT MAY ALL HAVE BEEN DONE AT THE SAME TIME.
Hello Barry,

I doubt that the steel ferrule and steel band at the scabbard could be an indication that the knife is from WWII or later, some very old pieces shows this features.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 9th August 2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert
I think that I have an identification of who or what the hilt represents, it is Lrrr, Ruler Of The Planet Omicron Persei 8.
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Old 9th August 2014, 12:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian

This is the third or fourth example I have seen that would seem to have come from Luzon. The wood "hanger" on the scabbard is occasionally seen in central Luzon, and a recent example I showed from Apalit had such an arrangement (see the scabbard for the fat-belly bolo in Post #1 of this thread http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=18769).
Hello Ian,

yes, forget complete the recently discussed short Apalit bolos, they has also this belt hooks at the scabbard. But be you aware of Luzon bolos with "monster" hilts? I know them only from Batangas and Bicol.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 9th August 2014, 12:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Hello Ian,

yes, forget complete the recently discussed short Apalit bolos, they has also this belt hooks at the scabbard. But be you aware of Luzon bolos with "monster" hilts? I know them only from Batangas and Bicol.

Regards,
Detlef
I can't recall these styles of hilts coming from other areas of Luzon.

Ian
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Old 9th August 2014, 02:41 PM   #15
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Thank you Ian! So when the bolo is a Luzon piece it would originate from one of this both areas.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 9th August 2014, 03:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Thank you Ian! So when the bolo is a Luzon piece it would originate from one of this both areas.

Regards,
Detlef
That seems a reasonable assumption. However, where the scabbard came from could be different.

Ian.
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