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Old 16th January 2016, 09:17 AM   #1
Aslan Paladin
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Default Ivory Hilt Barong for Sharing

Greetings.

I've just won this ivory-hilted barong sword from a local auction site here in New Zealand. It was described by the seller as a bring back sword from Malaya/Borneo by a NZ officer and dates from the 19th century. The ivory hilt has a horn spacer after the silver ferrule with twine wrapping for easy grip. The hilt is carved in the form of a stylised dragon head or naga which I think is rather quite rare. The blade looks like a typical single-edged barong blade with probable lamination patterns. The pictures are from the seller.

Cheers,
Algelan
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Last edited by Aslan Paladin; 17th January 2016 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 16th January 2016, 02:12 PM   #2
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Here are additional pictures. Comments are most welcome.
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Old 16th January 2016, 03:24 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for sharing. This is one of the most unique Moro pieces I have seen in a long time! While I have seen hilt pommels with monster motifs, I have never seen one in that exact style. I think you have a "one of a kind" type hilt there.

I am curious about the way the grip cord is wrapped around the pommel. Why cover such lovely work? Can you tell if it has been that way a very long time, or perhaps, was done later?

Congrats on a great piece!
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Old 16th January 2016, 03:42 PM   #4
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Wonderful barong and unbelievably with what looks to be no damage to the hilt. While these hilts are rare if I remember correctly I believe Kino has one in his collection that is very similar to the one you have just acquired. Hopefully he will see this and post a photo or two for comparison. My congratulations to you for winning this most beautiful and unusual piece for your collection.

Best,
Robert
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Old 16th January 2016, 03:47 PM   #5
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Not my area of collecting but quality is recognizable in any area of arms and armour. Thanks for posting.
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Old 16th January 2016, 08:54 PM   #6
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I was really awe-strucked at first to see this barong being offered in an auction here as I realised this hilt style is rare, done in a quite identifiable dragon's head, and I haven't seen another one in ivory. Ashokaarts sold a monster head ivory hilted barong before but it was more stylised than this one. I know that Kino and Artzi have similar ones, both wooden hilt. The seller labeled it as a Dyak head hunter's head knife.

I was also puzzled why there were cord wrappings on an apparent status sword. I would have to wait for a week at least for the sword to be sent to me by the seller, so I wouldn't be able to inspect it before my eyes till then. However, based on what I can see, I am of the opinion it was done a long time ago. Aesthetically it does seem to distract from the elegant beauty of the hilt. I was thinking at one point to remove it once I get the sword but has decided against it as I wouldn't want to tamper with the sword's history.

Thanks for the comments gentlemen.

Last edited by Aslan Paladin; 17th January 2016 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 16th January 2016, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Thanks so much for sharing. This is one of the most unique Moro pieces I have seen in a long time! While I have seen hilt pommels with monster motifs, I have never seen one in that exact style. I think you have a "one of a kind" type hilt there.

I am curious about the way the grip cord is wrapped around the pommel. Why cover such lovely work? Can you tell if it has been that way a very long time, or perhaps, was done later?

Congrats on a great piece!
Look at the 3rd picture down again. There is sun bleaching/weathering that has only occurred between the gaps of the cord. Looks like the cord has shifted around a bit as well. In any case I'd wager it's been like that for a long time.

Could it be original? I am wondering about how that cord is secured at the blade base end. I can't quite tell from the pictures. But it looks like that knot might be tied through a hole or notch in the blade?

All speculation just based on what I can actually see of course...But, if the blade or fitting have an accommodation that looks like it is specifically for tying that cord onto...then taking with the color difference of where the cord does and does not touch. I would really suspect that it may be an original wrap.

Beautiful blade...But the eyebrow raising thing for me is definitely that cord job. would be very interested to know more about that part of it specifically.
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Old 16th January 2016, 10:05 PM   #8
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In response to Robert, here is a comparison with Kino's barong (the wooden one). The ivory hilted one Kino uses as his avatar would be nice to see.
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Last edited by Aslan Paladin; 17th January 2016 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 17th January 2016, 03:47 AM   #9
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Asian Paladin: I have a barong with the same kind of hilt, only in black horn. Handles like these are indeed very rare and you are indeed very fortunate to have acquired one of this type. Yes, i think Albert does have one of these with an ivory handle........Dave.
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Old 17th January 2016, 06:47 AM   #10
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THIS STYLE OF HANDLE IS RARE BUT I HAVE SEEN A FEW OVER THE YEARS. I HAVE ONE WITH A WOOD HANDLE, I WILL SEE IF I CAN TAKE A PICTURE TO POST HERE SOON. ONE FORUM MEMBER HAS ONE WITH AN IVORY HANDLE AND USES IT FOR HIS AVATAR. HERE ARE TWO PICTURES OF ONE WITH AN IVORY HANDLE I DON'T REMEMBER WHO OWNS THEM OR WHERE I GOT THE PICTURES. HERE ARE TWO PICTURES OF ONE WITH A WOODEN HANDLE THAT ORIENTAL ARMS HAD. YOU ARE A LUCKY MAN TO ACQUIRE ONE.
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