Fine long glat mandau
Overall length

Sheathed 71.8 cm

Sword 66 cm

Blade length

52.8 cm

Blade thickness

Base 9.5 mm

At widest 4.3 mm

Blade width

Base 16 mm

At widest 32 mm

Weight

573 grams

Point of balance

14 cm from hilt

Materials

Iron, steel, silver, wood, rattan, palm bark, deer antler, gutta percha

Origin

Borneo, Indonesia

Dating

19th century

Provenance

Dutch antique art market

Price €3200, -

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Introduction

The Bahau Long Glat Dayak who lived on the shores of the Upper Mahakam River were renowned craftsmen, being known to make some of the finest mandau blades as well as carved deer antler hilts. 

Their blades are typically worked with a series of protrusions on the spine, carefully shaped. They also often feature many inlays in the form of brass or silver dots and Aso motifs.

Bij de Longglat's vindt men ook de meest bekende kunstenaars in het snijden van hertshoornen zwaardgrepen, doch, evenals in het
smeden, munten slechts enkelen uit in dit werk. Het zijn vooral sommige hoofden of welgestelde lieden, die in staat zijn, zich zoo te oefenen, dat zij een zekere vaardigheid kunnen verwerven Bij de anderen belet de zorg voor het onderhoud van het gezin dikwijls eene verdere ontwikkeling.

A. W. Nieuwenhuis; In Centraal Borneo 2. 
Maatschappij ter Bevordering van het Natuurkundig Onderzoek der Nederlandsche Koloniën, 1900
Page 273.

 

My translation:

"Among the Longglats we also find the most famous artists in the carving of deerhorn grips, even though, as in forging of blades, only few really excel in this type of work. These are mainly some tribal heads or wealthy people who are able to train themselves in such a way that they acquire a certain amount of skill. For the others, the concern for providing for the family often prevents their further development."

 

 

Description

A very good Long Glat Dayak sword. It has the typical blade the Long Glats are known for, with a multitude of complex protrusions on the spine, and profusely inlaid with silver dots and ornaments.

The deerhorn grip is comparatively large dimensioned, of a form attributable to the Dayak that inhabited the shores of the Upper Mahakam River. It is nicely carved with abstract forms in which we can recognize typical Dayak elements like teethed jaws and leeches. There is a strong but restless quality to the artwork, which is a reflection of their demon-infested world image. The hilt has a beautiful, shiny patina from much handling.

The dark hardwood scabbard was cleverly made, so most of the rattan bindings are internal, creating an attractive, clean look. At the back is a palm bark scabbard that houses the Dayak carving knife, called njoe in the local Bahau language but among collectors is better known as pisau raout. The fine carvings on the scabbard and hilt were typically done with only this knife.

It misses the bottom part of the carrying strap. An S-shaped wooden toggle is attached with a cord to the top loop.

 

Condition

Some losses to the rattan bindings on the scabbard, as well as a missing part of the rattan carrying strap. Also some losses to the scabbard of the pisau raout. Blade in good condition. Hilt in excellent condition.

 

Conclusion

A very good mandau with a prized Long Glat blade and a similarly artistically accomplished carved hilt from the Upper Mahakam river.

Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau
Fine Long Glat mandau

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