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Old 1st November 2021, 04:27 PM   #1
kino
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Default Sulu / N. Borneo sword

A sword that has an uncommon blade form. I donít know what itís called. It resembles a Barung in a few ways (handle, pommel, scabbard). The ferrule is horn. The tip could have broken off and re-shaped. If I were to hypothesize on its ageÖmid 19th to early 20th century. Blade length ~13 inches.
Thoughts?
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Old 1st November 2021, 04:52 PM   #2
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Some time ago I posted a barong with a similarly modified tip; it was the only one that I had seen prior to yours. One is an oddity, two or more is interesting.
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Old 1st November 2021, 05:27 PM   #3
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There was a Spanish law at one point that prohibited blades with points, those that had them, had their points snapped off to make them legal. Didn't do the Spanish any good.


Not sure when that was, in the 19c, but this, like others, may have been among the victims.
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Old 1st November 2021, 06:46 PM   #4
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Beautiful sword Albert! Could it be Yakan? When it has a tip it doesn't have a barong blade form, so I guess it's the original blade shape.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 1st November 2021, 08:22 PM   #5
kai
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Congrats, Albert!

That's a nice piece and I agree with Detlef that it isn't a modified barung blade. If just clipped under imposed law (much of Sulu never was under real colonial control during most of the Spanish period), no major re-profiling would be likely.

Moreover, the blade length fits almost perfectly in the scabbard as is and any hollowed-out endpieces/chapes are extremely rare. If any serious extension to allow for a pointed blade would have been present earlier, I'd expect the same sturdy mode of attachment with pins as seen with the crosspiece (no remnant holes present near the foot though).

Stylistically, the crosspiece seems to vibe well with Tausug or northern Borneo (not mutually exclusive, anyway). A horn ferrule seems rare with Tausug pieces while quite common with Borneo origins. Thus, I'd lean towards Sulu-influenced coastal areas on northern Borneo. An established US colonial context may hint at a Philippine origin though...

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Kai
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Old 1st November 2021, 08:23 PM   #6
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Albert, could you also post a pic of the "face" of the pommel, please?
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Old 1st November 2021, 10:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai View Post
Congrats, Albert!

... If just clipped under imposed law ...
Moreover, the blade length fits almost perfectly in the scabbard as is and any hollowed-out endpieces/chapes are extremely rare. ...

.... An established US colonial context may hint at a Philippine origin though...

Regards,
Kai
The horn part, of the fairly decent scabbard, tip end looks like it was sawn off (somewhat crudely) to match the blade, so any matching hollow made for the original unclipped blade tip would have been lost. scabbards were also frequently replaced over the life of a knife/sword and a new one may have been made for it that fitted the new tip.Speculation on ours parts is just that, speculation.
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Old 2nd November 2021, 01:18 AM   #8
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Thanks, Wayne,

That's certainly a possibility. The damage along the rim looks more like expected wear to me though. Maybe Albert can confirm if the patina shows any major difference?

These are hints which may point at probabilities; rigorous scientific testing might. allow to exclude some possibilities (possibly at the cost of destructive testing and/or high expenses ).

Regards,
Kai
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Old 2nd November 2021, 03:14 AM   #9
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The Yakan often use a horn ferrule on their weaponry, especially their barongs. I wonder if this could be an unclassified and very rare Yakan piece. Rare even for Moro peoples on Borneo.
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Old 3rd November 2021, 02:48 AM   #10
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Thanks guys.

I tend to agree with Sajen about the shape with the bunt tip being original.

Kai and Wayne, it certainly is a rough cut along the scabbards end. There isnít much difference in the patina. Photo of the pommels face added.
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Old 8th November 2021, 01:04 PM   #11
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What a lovely unique piece! I agree with the others, while it is tempting to want to call this a "clipped" barung, the curvature clearly makes that unrealistic. It's just a very unique piece! Congrats!
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