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Piso Sanalenggam Sword

Place of Origin: Batak, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Date: 19th Century

Overall: 650mm

Reference: 144

Status: Reserved

Full Description:

A wonderful example of its type, this sword is not only a beautifully decorated object but also a highly effective weapon.  The handle is carved from buffalo horn and has a bi-furcated pommel with two goose-neck finials.  The upper part of the handle is shaped into a ‘pistol grip’, encouraging the user to naturally grasp the sword in a way that facilitates the cut as well as the thrust.  Geometric patterns carved into the handle elevate the level of decoration and aid the wielder’s grip.  A long, brass collar is finished with intricate wire work.  The big, bellied blade is forged from high quality crucible steel and has a very thick spine marked with a single X within parallel lines, its exaggeratedly clipped tip ensures this slashing weapon can also be used for stabbing.

The scabbard is painted with a vivid black and red theme, a shallow valley running down one half and a series of painted triangles on the other.  A narrow border of the same wavy line design seen in the grip separates panels of more complex designs on the scabbard, and a carved device, presumably meant to aid in the slinging of the sword, is set upon a large decorative panel of naughts and crosses.

With the practical, high quality properties of the blade and the significant amount of decoration on the scabbard this sword is something of a hybrid and must have been made for a man of high status and competent fighting abilities.

Provenance: UK art market.