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Old 23rd August 2020, 09:12 AM   #1
tanaruz
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Default OLD BARUNG 1

Hi friends,

from my father's collection.

1) tausug?
2) is this an example of a datu-class barung?
3) the kakatua crest- is this a junggayan type?
4) what could be the cause of the 'yellowish' color on the blade?
5) the marks on the blade are called 'laminations'?
6) possible era/age?


Note: the barung has a very thick spine


thanks

Yves
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Old 23rd August 2020, 11:22 AM   #2
kai
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Hello Yves,

Thanks for sharing again!

This blotchy pattern is sometimes seen with barung blades (only AFAIK) - the blade exhibits the typical laminations from preparing the steel: Apparently chunks of steel get combined with milder steel and result in these blotches after forging. See here for another example!

I haven't seen this pattern with any modern barung blades - I guess this dates back to the 19th c.

I'd place this ensemble before WW2, possibly from around the middle of the first half of the 20th c.

This pommel crest style seems to be a later development of Junggayan hilts but I am not sure if this type has any specific name.

The color looks like rust to me but might as well be from varnish...

Regards,
Kai

Last edited by kai : 24th August 2020 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 23rd August 2020, 11:48 AM   #3
tanaruz
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Default MORO BARUNG 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Ives,

Thanks for sharing again!

This blotchy pattern is sometimes seen with barung blades (only AFAIK) - the blade exhibits the typical laminations from preparing the steel: Apparently chunks of steel get combined with milder steel and result in these blotches after forging. See here for another example!

I haven't seen this pattern with any modern barung blades - I guess this dates back to the 19th c.

I'd place this ensemble before WW2, possibly from around the middle of the first half of the 20th c.

This pommel crest style seems to be a later development of Junggayan hilts but I am not sure if this type has any specific name.

The color looks like rust to me but might as well be from tarnish...

Regards,
Kai



Hi Sir,

Many thanks for the info. Appreciate it.

Kind regards

Yves
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Old 23rd August 2020, 08:27 PM   #4
kai
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You're welcome, Yves!

(BTW, no need to be formal over here - I'm sure every active forumite is fine with being addressed by his/her nickname or given name... )

Regards,
Kai
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Old 24th August 2020, 06:30 AM   #5
Ian
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Hi Yves:

Nice barung but probably not datu class IMHO. The ensemble looks entirely Sulu to me. The blade again may be older than the hilt and scabbard. The tortoise shell at the throat and tip of the scabbard dates from about the 1960s and later, and the kakatua pommel may also be fairly recent. This could be a refit of an older blade, but it could also be entirely mid- to late-20th C.

The "blotches" on the blade are hard to distinguish from patina or some coating (such as varnish) that has been applied to prevent rust.

Ian.

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Last edited by Ian : 24th August 2020 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Added picture and additional comment
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Old 24th August 2020, 08:35 AM   #6
tanaruz
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Default old barung 1

Hi,

Thank you for the info. Appreciate it really.

Blade: the picture didn't quite capture the 'faint yellowish' color on the blade surface.

what could be the cause of this very faint yellowish color?

kind regards

Yves
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Old 24th August 2020, 10:54 AM   #7
kai
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Difficult to tell from these pics, Yves. It might be from etching the blade or an attempt to protect the blade against rust.

Since there is some active rust, a thorough blade cleaning seems to be needed, anyway.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 24th August 2020, 11:07 AM   #8
kai
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Hello Ian,

Quote:
The blade again may be older than the hilt and scabbard. The tortoise shell at the throat of the scabbard dates from about the 1960s and later, and the kakatua pommel also looks fairly recent. This could be a refit of an older blade, but it could also be entirely mid- to late-20th C.

Have you seen any 20th c. barung blades with these blotches? I've only seen them with well-balanced blades that I believe to older.

Seems I haven't been paying enough attention to the younger generations of barung: Wasn't the first appearance of these "modern" hilt styles as well as the ridged scabbard placed around the early 20th c. with later additional modifications and a continuing decline in quality around/after WW2?

Thanks for any update/correction!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 24th August 2020, 10:57 PM   #9
Ian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Ian,

Have you seen any 20th c. barung blades with these blotches? I've only seen them with well-balanced blades that I believe to older.

Seems I haven't been paying enough attention to the younger generations of barung: Wasn't the first appearance of these "modern" hilt styles as well as the ridged scabbard placed around the early 20th c. with later additional modifications and a continuing decline in quality around/after WW2?

Thanks for any update/correction!

Regards,
Kai
Kai, I'm not sure about the blade "blotches." Prominent blotches are not particularly common in my experience. I do have a high end 19th C. barung with a suassa punto and silver bands on the hilt, which shows these features prominently (see attached pictures). As far as blotches being exclusively on older blades, that is very hard to say. With the increased use of monosteel, mostly post WWII, I think the likelihood of blotches went down considerably.

There are various styles of hilts that appeared in the 20th C, and I think Cato described several. The "eruption" of the kakatua crest from the back of the hilt (rather than a continuous flowing curve with the rest of the pommel) seems to date from the 1930s, or maybe a little earlier. Again, it's hard to know because the likelihood of an early example of anything surviving to today and falling into our hands is rather slim. What we see probably post dates the earliest introduction by some amount of time, which may be a decade or more. What suggested to me that this hilt was somewhat recent is its carved decoration which does not strike me as usual on older forms of this style of kakatua.

I've attached an enhanced view of the OP to my first post in this thread, which seems to show some form of colored material on the blade. This looks like varnish that was applied to prevent rust. Some of this material may also be giving the appearance of blotches on the blade.

The ridged scabbard is a 20th C feature that seems to have appeared sometime in the 1930s, maybe a little earlier, and gained prominence post WWII.

Those are my impressions.

The attached pictures show a 19th C datu barung from Sulu.

.
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Last edited by Ian : 24th August 2020 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 25th August 2020, 07:20 AM   #10
kai
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Thanks for your input, Ian!

That's a really sweet barung! Could you please post a view of the "top" of the pommel, please?

I don't think your blade exhibits the blotches I was speaking of - I'd describe this pattern as resembling clouds (achieved by forging laminated steel). [There might be a single "real" blotch over the circular forging flaw(?) close to the middle of the left side.]

The blotches in the other two examples are real and not just an artifact from surface treatment; they seem to originate from introducing rather large bits of high-carbon steel into a matrix of milder steel (with apparently only limited forging afterwards). I've seen a few of these blades - they are not common though.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 25th August 2020, 09:49 AM   #11
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Ah, I see what you mean Kai. I think what you are calling blotches may be deliberate inclusions that are forged into the steel. I don't have an example of that style of blade.

The OP of this thread has a blade that is very "dirty" and hard to read. I'm not entirely convinced that these "blotches" are actually in the blade rather than an artifact on the surface. The blade needs a good polish (and probably an etching) to be sure.

Such inclusions could have some mystical significance. I can't see how they would alter the performance of the weapon much.
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Old 26th August 2020, 01:18 AM   #12
kai
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Hello Ian,

Quote:
I think what you are calling blotches may be deliberate inclusions that are forged into the steel.

Exactly. Only that these often polygonal inclusions with pretty crisp margins present quite an enigma how such an effect got achieved by the bladesmith.


Quote:
The OP of this thread has a blade that is very "dirty" and hard to read. I'm not entirely convinced that these "blotches" are actually in the blade rather than an artifact on the surface.

Apparently it exhibits a combination of both kind of features.


Quote:
I can't see how they would alter the performance of the weapon much.

No, they won't. I've never seen these blotches to extend into the hardened edge.

Also both sides differ from each other. Thus, the blade sems to be a sandwich construction rather than exhibiting any inserted edge.

AFAIK, such a kind of mosaic pamor is not found in antique blades from anywhere throughout Indonesia.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 26th August 2020, 04:40 PM   #13
Battara
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Kai has a point (every pun intended ).

We have seen some examples where an old blade or metal with perhaps special value or talismanic value gets reused into making a new blade. Not easy but some do this still today with different metals to make similar patterns on knife blades today.
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