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Old 5th September 2021, 02:55 PM   #11
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,339

Hi Detlef,

Of the examples you show, the one in the top left is the oldest in style. The hilt, guard, and scabbard may well be pre-WWII. The blade style seems later, although it may be an earlier blade with later engraving. The other two look post-WWII to me, especially the mixed-media guards. I have found patina is not a very reliable guide with these knives, with discoloration returning fairly promptly after cleaning (and even using a sealant such as Antique Wax).

We have talked before about aluminum on Philippine weapons, and it is still my belief that this feature was not seen pre-WWII. I have yet to be shown a convincing example with aluminum prior to the 1940s. There may be a rare example out there, but I have not come across it (and I have been looking). WWII was an excellent opportunity for reclaiming aluminum from downed planes, and was the first time this fairly uncommon metal became available in reasonable amounts for indigenous use. Aluminum cans did not come along until the 1960s.

The multimedia hilts and guards, as shown in the original post in this thread, are relatively recent and have increased since the 1960s. Similar examples are still being made in the Lake Lanao region and nearby areas. Similarly, blades engraved with okir designs have become more prominent since the 1970s, and continue to be made. Although well crafted, many of these knives are now produced for visitors to the islands and customers more widely.

In the 1990s, the multimedia hilts were occasionally seen in the antique and cultural shops of Manila. By 2005, they were more common and appeared to be manufactured recently. They now appear on eBay with some regularity, having not been at all common there in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
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