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Old 3rd June 2015, 03:07 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default SURPRISE! Wootz Steel in a Most Unexpected Place!...An Aceh Podang/Peudueng

I was fortunate enough to purchase this sword from a forum member a couple of months ago. The blade was a little spotty with some areas of deep pitting, so I sent it out to Philip Tom to see if he could improve the appearance of the blade.

When he began to polish and etch, he was astounded and contacted me immediately...."this thing's got a wootz blade...and a good wootz blade." I could not believe it as I have never seen a peudueng with a wootz blade. All the other features of the blade are quite the norm including its fullering and fexibility, though it is by no means flimsy. It also has the typical false edge of approximately 10in.

The wootz steel blade brought up and lot of questions between Phil and I, most notably "how did this sword come together"? My immediate theory was that one of the talented craftsmen from all over Asia they could be found in the Indonesian archipelago likely had made it.

But Phil brought up an excellent point...if that is case then why haven't we seen more similar blades of wootz from that area? Could it have been from a wootz ingot traded from India or Persian and then forged in Sumatra???...likely not keeping in mind the delicacy involved in forging a blade from a wootz ingot and not ruining the pattern in the process.

So now I tend to agree with Phil, with this likely being a "made to specifications order" blade requested from either Persia or India, and making it's way back to Sumatra. This is yet another sword that falls into my interest of the trade done in weapons in "dar al Islam". It's another example of a piece that I really wish "could talk" to us!

If this is the case, can you imagine the patience and care given to exact specifications, not to mention the "waiting time" for the buyer...likely at least two years!!!

Please share your thoughts on anything about the sword...its origins, construction, or otherwise.

This peudeung is nicely mounted with a better than usual hilt that has decorative motifs to he guard, a silver wire wrapped grip, and a magnificent pommel with brass mounts holding small(likely low grade) diamonds, and decorated in type Aceh enamel motifs. The hilt pad is quite nice as well, and is in great condition.

The sword came with its original leather scabbard, but there was so much grit and sand in the scabbard, it would have ruined the finished etch over time, so I asked Phil to make a wooden core scabbard for me.

I would be most interested in seeing examples of other original peudeung scabbards to give me some ideas to go by in completing this wooden one. Thanks for any pics here.

Thanks again for any input!

Dimensions:

Overall length: 42in.
Blade length: 36.5in
Widest point of the blade: 1.5in.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 03:08 PM   #2
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I'm afraid my comment is going to be reduced to just saying, what a beautiful sword! A pleasure to view it.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 03:53 PM   #3
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Nice sword Charles !!
Don't you think that most of the blades for this form of peudueng were sourced from India ?
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Old 3rd June 2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=
Don't you think that most of the blades for this form of peudueng were sourced from India ?[/QUOTE]


Phil and I both assumed that was the most logical place of origin.
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Old 3rd June 2015, 10:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Please share your thoughts on anything about the sword...its origins, construction, or otherwise.

I would be most interested in seeing examples of other original peudeung scabbards to give me some ideas to go by in completing this wooden one. Thanks for any pics here.


Dear Charles,

A very nice example.

I believe you already give a lot of details about the origin and construction.
I agree with the theory that this blade was bought from outside Atjeh.
There are also examples with english factory made trade blades.
So why not trade a wootz blade from India ?

The spike like protrusion is quite bend. Maybe that can be restored / straitened ?

As for the scabbards.
There are a few examples on www.Atchin.nl
http://www.atchin.nl/Atchin/Atjeh/P.../Peudeueng.html

Ps, the original scabbard that came with your example, is it not wood covered with leather ? I would try to get the inside of the original scabbard cleaned in order to maintain the original scabbard.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 4th June 2015, 02:02 AM   #6
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Cool

I'll just put this here as somewhat related .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aceh_W...h_Sultanate.png
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Old 4th June 2015, 05:11 AM   #7
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Default The hilt!

I'm mesmerized by the hilt. Fantastic and meticulous decoration. Yes, I love the steel too, but the hilt is a work of art.
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Old 5th June 2015, 12:05 AM   #8
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Excellent Indian blade lovely hilt as well!
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Old 5th June 2015, 09:20 AM   #9
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Could the pommel mount be gold, rather than brass? Not that it matters much, with such fine workmanship.
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Old 5th June 2015, 11:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loedjoe
Could the pommel mount be gold, rather than brass? Not that it matters much, with such fine workmanship.



The pommel mounts are gold...not really sure why I said brass. I knew better. You have a good eye!
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Old 5th June 2015, 12:20 PM   #11
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Another real neat sword Charles, congrats.

It seems both you and Rick have had some nice SEA swords with Wootz blades.

Here is an Amanremu from the Kelling Hall collection with what appears to be a Wootz inserted edge;

http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/s195_full.html

Gavin
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Old 5th June 2015, 07:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwordsAntiqueWeapons



Here is an Amanremu from the Kelling Hall collection with what appears to be a Wootz inserted edge;

http://www.swordsantiqueweapons.com/s195_full.html

Gavin


First time I have seen anything like that Gavin. VERY interesting. I wonder if the smith had only a small wootz ingot and decided to use it in that manner???
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Old 5th June 2015, 11:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS

I would be most interested in seeing examples of other original peudeung scabbards to give me some ideas to go by in completing this wooden one. Thanks for any pics here..


collection Wereldmuseum Rotterdam inv.nr. 34300
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Old 6th June 2015, 12:31 AM   #14
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Smile Mysteries Of The Forge

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
First time I have seen anything like that Gavin. VERY interesting. I wonder if the smith had only a small wootz ingot and decided to use it in that manner???


Gav, lovely sword .
I wonder if all the cold shuts on your example occurred because the smith knew he would lose the wootz pattern if he heated the blade too much, thereby resulting in the aforementioned cold shuts .
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Old 12th June 2015, 02:33 PM   #15
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The use of a leather scabbard here(with the peudueng) really surprises me. I have always understood that leather does not hold up well in tropical conditions.

Perhaps someone else knows more about this???
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Old 13th June 2015, 11:53 PM   #16
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Love it. Thanks for sharing, Charles.
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Old 14th June 2015, 12:04 PM   #17
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Hi Charles,

Your sword came from a very high end collection and I suspect the inventory number 209 was left in place on the scabbard?
I would leave it, it is healthy even if shrunken a little.

Charles, Rick, I really don't know what the intention was when forging the amanremu, I'd say they maker had an idea and insight in to wootz, perhaps from those who traded the ingots? I just don't know...the end result wasn't pretty but is important in the study of wootz in Sumatra.
Wootz in Sumatra is a study that I think would be worth while as personally I think your wootz blade was formed in Sumatra, not traded.

Gavin
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Old 14th June 2015, 03:53 PM   #18
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Charles, IIRC I have seen a couple of these scabbards and they were both leather .
I wonder if this style of sword was really meant for combat or simply as a status symbol .
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Old 14th June 2015, 09:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
The use of a leather scabbard here(with the peudueng) really surprises me. I have always understood that leather does not hold up well in tropical conditions.

Perhaps someone else knows more about this???


Hi Charles,

all peudeuangs I have seen and/or owned had leathered scabbards.

The Dutch marechaussees used klewangs in tropical conditions which also had leathered scabbards......

Kind regards,
Maurice
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Old 14th June 2015, 09:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I wonder if this style of sword was really meant for combat or simply as a status symbol .


Hi Rick,

I think, that they were meant to use in a fight. In wartime these status pieces need to do their job!
Just like the moro datu pieces. Besides the status (ivory jungayang hilts and gold or silver etc.), they also were used what they were made off when necesarry.

Kind regards,
Maurice
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Old 14th June 2015, 10:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Hi Charles,

all peudeuangs I have seen and/or owned had leathered scabbards.

The Dutch marechaussees used klewangs in tropical conditions which also had leathered scabbards......

Kind regards,
Maurice


Maurice,

I believe these scabbards are of very light wood with a thin layer of leather.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 14th June 2015, 11:55 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Hi Charles,

all peudeuangs I have seen and/or owned had leathered scabbards.

The Dutch marechaussees used klewangs in tropical conditions which also had leathered scabbards......



Hi Maurice,

I am a a little surprised by leather or leather covered scabbards on native made blades. I had understood that leather does not hold up well in such climates...but I may be totally wrong.

As for this one's original leather scabbard, I still have it and keep it with the sword, but there is so much sand or grit so deep in the scabbard that I dare not use it for fear of ruining the finish to the blade and the exposed wootz.
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Old 15th June 2015, 06:26 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Maurice,

I believe these scabbards are of very light wood with a thin layer of leather.

Best regards,
Willem


Hi Willem,

Yes wood covered with leather.

Kind regards,
Maurice
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Old 15th June 2015, 09:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
I would be most interested in seeing examples of other original peudeung scabbards to give me some ideas to go by in completing this wooden one. Thanks for any pics here.


Finally took some pictures with acceptable daylight of a peudeung from my own collection. Scabbard leather over wood.
Blade is laminated, What would you call this blade ?

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 15th June 2015, 10:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Finally took some pictures with acceptable daylight of a peudeung from my own collection. Scabbard leather over wood.
Blade is laminated, What would you call this blade ?

Best regards,
Willem


Hello Willem,

I would call it a pamor blade. Nice sword!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 16th June 2015, 12:52 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Finally took some pictures with acceptable daylight of a peudeung from my own collection. Scabbard leather over wood.
Blade is laminated, What would you call this blade ?

Best regards,
Willem


Really attractive patter welding there Willem...consistent and good contrast. Is this the original etch or a later one?
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Old 16th June 2015, 06:40 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Really attractive patter welding there Willem...consistent and good contrast. Is this the original etch or a later one?


Hello Charles,

I did not etch it myself.
The blade was pretty much in this condition when I bought it.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 16th June 2015, 07:25 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Hello Charles,

I did not etch it myself.
The blade was pretty much in this condition when I bought it.

Best regards,
Willem


That's even better. VERY nice!
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Old 22nd May 2016, 01:22 AM   #29
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Default Pattern forged blades

Hi,

Quite new to this group, and not exactly a reply, but I would appreciate knowing the best method or process of testing a blade, to establish whether it is patterned or just plain. Thanks in advance.

Gordon
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Old 22nd May 2016, 11:20 AM   #30
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There is only one way: etch it. If there is a pattern, it is "pattern welded" ( or wootz), if not, - it is monosteel.
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