Introduction Over the years a number of Ottoman
Base 10 mm
Middle 5 mm
Near tip 3.5 mm
Base 41 mm
Middle 41.5 mm
Near tip 42.5 mm
17.8 cm from hilt
Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia
Iron, steel, gold, buffalo horn
Mid 19th century
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A sikin panjang with a triple golden crown. Such weapons were produced by the official workshops of the Sultan of Aceh and presented to people of certain ranks or royal lineages.
The lowest rank that was bestowed a single golden crown were the panglima prang, literally, "military commanders". Those with double or triple crowns can probably be attributed to the local nobility or uleebalang (local lords, appointed by the Sultan to rule over provinces) and their retainers. The Sultan himself had weapons with four-tiered crowns.
A fine and rather large sikin panjang with a blade of characteristic form; straight, slightly hollow ground, single-edged and with a shallow groove near the spine. The blade is forge folded with a high-carbon edge plate exposed at the edges. Currently, not in etched condition, an etch usually reveals a typical burl-grain pattern on such weapons. (Philip Tom can polish and etch the blade if the buyer so desired.) The steel quality tends to be very good on these, with a high-pitched ring when struck. This example is no exception. Some gold inlay work is done on the base of the spine on the blade.
The hilt is made of a piece of domesticated water buffalo horn, with the typical forked end we tend to see on weapons from this region. It was carved in a relief for better grip, now worn smooth due to handling. It has a deep, dark patine and a small crack due to shrinkage.
The has a golden crown with pointed ends, a type referred to as glupa which was prevalent on the northeastern part of Aceh. Some dents in the crown, see photos.
A nice example of an Acehnese sikin panjang with triple golden crown, a type associated with the powerful local lords called uleebalang who were appointed by the Sultan to rule over designated areas.
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This example has a beaded outer rim and a smooth inside rim, with in-between alternating stylized lotus petals. Such lotus petal borders are also seen on the base of Buddhist statues, where the lotus symbolizes the path towards enlightenment:
A fine sword guard dating from the height of the Qing dynasty. It were fine Chinese dāo hùshǒu like this example that became the prototypes for an entire genre of Japanese tsuba with strong Chinese influence. It's nice to find a 100% Chinese example from time to time, like this one.
A Chinese sword guard from the 18th century with a Buddhist mantra in lantsa script.
It's face covered with beautifully lacquered leather, in that characteristic earlier style.
Such rings were worn by Qing dynasty "bannermen" as a sign of their status as a conquest elite.