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Old 16th August 2021, 06:21 PM   #1
David R
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Default is this a tombak

latest arrival from a dealer in Scotland. Very rusty with other damage, which is why I got it at what I think is a bargain price.Dense hardwood shaft, with a plain collar below the head. I am currently cleaning it with coke, but I am wondering if there is anything better...
I don't want to get too savage with it.
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Old 16th August 2021, 09:59 PM   #2
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Hello David,

It's a tombak for sure! Tombak mean spear in Bahasa Indonesia.

But yes, look Indonesian to my eyes but I am not sure about the exact origin, ask me again when it's clean!
The ferrule is unusual.

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Old 17th August 2021, 12:34 AM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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Yeah, a tombak.

Overall it looks Javanese, the primary indicators for a tombak are the metuk --- the little baluster between blade base & shaft --- and the body form. In this tombak the metuk looks like North Coast Jawa, but the blade base immediately in front of the metuk does not look like any Javanese tombak that I know.Additionally, this tombak has an ada-ada --- central blade ridge --- running the length of the blade, this would normally point to only a couple of Javanese classifications, and North Coast Jawa (ie, Tuban) is not one of these.

The treatment of the ferrule that supports the end of the shaft where the blade tang enters is not typically Central Javanese.

So, yeah, overall the first impression would be Jawa, but when we focus on details, it is as Detlef has said, precise classification is not at all easy. Too many contradictions.
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Old 17th August 2021, 09:47 AM   #4
David R
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I had another of these about 20+ years ago, that I sold.... something I regret now, that had a silver mount below the blade, and a rather short stave or shaft.
A certain amount of my current buying is replacing stuff sold during periods of poverty, though lack of knowledge about a piece was another factor. The internet makes a big difference nowadays.
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