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Old 1st May 2022, 06:45 PM   #1
gp
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Default Sewar or not? If not, than wot..?

I got offered some nice Ottoman bichaqs from Turkey and the Balkans.
Amongst it was a yataghan....according to the seller.
No way a yataghan was my immediate thought; rather Asian and more than likely from Indonesia.
Not being an expert on Indonesian cold arms, I consulted a Tuan who is most knowledgeable and confirmed my thoughts.

It looks like a Sewar from Sumatra ( like the 3rd one by Albert van Zonneveld ) but the size is quite long :

total 70 cm
scabbard 57 cm (wooden part 50 1/2 cm)
hilt made from ivory 14 cm
blade 50 cm and quite heavy


your thoughts and advice please...what is this and how old do you think it to be?
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Old 1st May 2022, 08:06 PM   #2
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Hi Gunar,

What I recognize is that the fittings look quite younger than the blade which could be a pedang blade!?
A refitted blade from the first quarter of the 19th century? The ivory carving is very nicely done!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 1st May 2022, 08:54 PM   #3
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thnx a lot; yes I see some similarities with the Pedang Lurus which can be found on the internet.
But I couldn't find any with this kind of hilt ( even in horn, bone or wood).
As the Pedang are said to be Malay, Indonesian and southern Thailand (but was the Islamic sultanate of Patani),
all with Islamic background....what would the hilt symbolize or stand for ? A flower ?
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Old 1st May 2022, 09:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gp View Post
thnx a lot; yes I see some similarities with the Pedang Lurus which can be found on the internet.
No, not a pedang lurus from Java, I've meant a pedang like pictured but with an other blade shape.
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Old 1st May 2022, 09:46 PM   #5
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It is unusual dress, but it isn't a sewar.
Pedang is a word which literally means "sword" and we can find a fair variance in weapons that are called "pedang". It may have a more specific name, but i would accept pedang for the time being.
The dress is a form i have not quite seen before. Though possible, i am not convinced by the photos that those parts are ivory. The carving is nice regardless, though as Detlef suggests, a bit later than the blade. Some of the motifs look familiar, but i can't quite place them yet.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 12:29 AM   #6
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Hello Gunar,

This piece very likely got crafted in Medan and thereabouts: Late colonial period or even later (pretty much all of 20th century even if I'd guess around WW2). I'm not convinced the blade is any older - certainly a possibility though.

Not a traditional piece but prepared for those who travel (often colonial employees, visitors, etc.). The workmanship is not bad - a far cry from genuine traditional craftsmanship though.

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Kai
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Old 2nd May 2022, 09:22 AM   #7
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The edge is also on the wrong side for a sewar. They are on the concave (inner) side.
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Old 2nd May 2022, 05:54 PM   #8
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thank you all for your swift replies, which are most interesting to me.
Even if there is no conclusive answer, or at least not yet....
Henceforth looking very much forward to further info.

The hilt is neither horn nor bone I can say as it is too heavy for that:
it became detached and looks like the ivory I have seen from the better Ottoman yataghans but am open to any advise if you know any other heavy material?

Would it be correct to determine it at least to be Indonesian ?
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Old 2nd May 2022, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gp View Post
The hilt is neither horn nor bone I can say as it is too heavy for that:
it became detached and looks like the ivory I have seen from the better Ottoman yataghans but am open to any advise if you know any other heavy material?
I think we would need to see better photos that are closer, sharper and better exposed. Can't read much in those blown out sections of photo. I don't see any obvious Schreger lines so if it is some kind of ivory perhaps it is not elephant ivory. But it looks a bit porous in some spots and if i just had these photos to go by i would still suspect it was bone.
And yes, i think it would be fair to consider this Indonesian, though i am not sure of the exact origin.
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Old 3rd May 2022, 06:40 PM   #10
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Thns again for all your input; highly appreciated. I shall try to make some better pics but more important for me is to find out the origin ...
Even if it would be a tourist piece for the "upper class" or better to do travellers between 1900-1950, surely more of these must have been made and entered the EU and Anglo-Saxon markets one would presume...

As for now, I think the most trustworthy and reasonable explantion I would think is made by Kai, but surely would like to see and know if more of these kind of daggers surfaced.

The hilt decoration reminds me a little of the hairdress as worn by men in Java and Bali in the past.... But than again, than could be as the Stones sing so nicely "only my imagination, running away with me..." ☺
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Last edited by gp; 3rd May 2022 at 09:32 PM.
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