Padang highlands sword
This item has been sold.
Overall length

Sheathed 53.2 cm

Sword 48.9 cm

Blade length

33 cm

Blade thickness

Base 8.5 mm

Widest point 4.5 mm

Blade width

Base 25 mm

Widest point 42 mm

Weight

324 grams

Point of balance

6.5 cm from base of blade

Materials

Iron, steel, báitóng, wood

Origin

Pandang Highlands

West Sumatra, Indonesia

Dating

19th century

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Description

An interesting and rather rare type of Sumatran sword. 

The blade widens considerably towards the tip, the edge sweeping up in an arc to meet the point. The tip section is double-edged, and with some serrations at the start of the backedge.

The blade is beautifully forged in high-contrast laminations, forming a hairpin turn both at the tip and the base. 

The base of the blade is a stepped steel structure with facets, and two elements projecting sideways. It is reminiscent of the base of the sikin panjang of Aceh. 

Base of blade

The hilt is carved of wood and is finer and more artistically accomplished than most in this genre. It has a báitóng ferrule.

 

Scabbard

The scabbard is made of two halves of wood and encloses the blade completely. At the top is a sideways projection with carved decoration. The endpiece is made of a piece of black buffalo horn.

There are two openings, one on either side, where a sliver of wood is missing. Probably caused by the blade itself over time, which is very sharp.

Padang highlands sword scabbardPadang highlands sword scabbard

 

Attribution

This sword is part of a very small but diverse group of swords. A shared characteristic is the form of hilt, and the tendency towards this strongly widening blade profile. Most have a narrow, slotted scabbard, but ours has a more conventional closed scabbard.

Those with provenance came from the Padang Highlands, in the present-day province of West Sumatra. Most, however have a narrow scabbard with a slot in the top for insertion of the blade. Our scabbard fully encloses the blade.

The Ethnographic Museum in Leiden for example has a very similar sword under accession number RV-1599-599. It was purchased by the museum in 1907 and was attributed to the Mandailing people.

Mandailing sword in Leiden museum

Leiden Ethnographic Museum accession number RV-1599-599.

 

 

Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword
Rare Sumatran Padang Highlands sword

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