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Old 14th June 2021, 04:22 AM   #1
Ian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 3,338
Default Unusual Philippine short sword

This short sword/long knife is interesting. The blade is well forged, tapering from hilt to tip, and the spine is straight. The blade has a small ricasso (unusual for a Philippine blade) which betrays its origins from a file or rasp, with the typical cross-hatched pattern. The edge is V-ground and remains razor sharp.

The hilt is unusual. It appears to have been cast from a white metal, most likely "white bronze" (definitely not aluminum as seen on some WWII-era knives and later). The hilt likely once had a chain (now missing) from the guard to the pommel to create a D-guard arrangement. The guard (also white metal) is a separate piece that has been brazed to the hilt. The fitting of the blade to the guard and hilt is seamless and expertly done.

The scabbard is polished wood with copper/brass fittings at the throat and toe. The throat has a nice brass belt loop. There is also a nondescript white metal band around the middle of the scabbard that may have been a later replacement.

Overall this is not a piece that came from a village blacksmith. There is some quality cutlery work in the forging and fitting of the blade, and the copper/brass mounts on the scabbard show skill also. The metal hilt is the most unusual aspect of this piece for me. The metal is a non-ferrous alloy (a magnet does not stick to it) and its not aluminum, so that suggests a copper alloy of some sort ("white bronze").

My first thought was that this piece came from Luzon. However, the fluted wooden scabbard is similar to some Moro sundang I have owned, and the copper/brass fittings on the scabbard are consistent with Moro work. There are many skilled Moro panday who are capable of producing this type of blade and fitting it well. However, the hilt motifs are distinctly not Moro.

I know many experts in Philippine swords visit this site, so I would appreciate help in locating where it came from. Also, the time frame in which it was produced. My feeling is that this piece is WWII-era or around that time.

-----Unknown Philippine sword-----
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Last edited by Ian; 14th June 2021 at 04:34 AM.
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