Acehnese Rencong dagger
North-Sumatra, Aceh, ca. 1880
Materials: Iron, Gold, Wood, Horn (Karbouw), Rattan
The ‘Rencong‘ or ‘Rentjong‘ is a type of dagger that was used in Sumatra, particulary in Aceh during the 19th and early 20th century. It was considered a sidearm next to the ‘sikin panjang‘ and ‘klewang’ and was stashed in a sarong. The hilt has a long distinctive curve and is therefor easy to extract from the scabbard during close combat encounters. The hilts are often made of ivory or horn, the latter is used on our example here. The hilt has a high polished finish. The Rencong blades can be distinguished in three types, the plain, mid section and long stretched fuller type. Our example has a plain blade, which is curved and has a single cutting edge. The spine is near flat and runs down towards the tip. All ‘rencong‘ blades feature an integrated or welded ferrule and a small protrusion at the downside of the forte, functioning as a guard. In the case of an officer, or commander who proved himself in battle, the Sultan or his dignitaries could present a ‘rencong‘ with a single, double or triple golden crown. These crowns were often filled with green and blue enamel. In some cases the ferrule was inlayed with gold, as can be seen on our example here.
Condition: Very good condition, some loss on the gold inlay, two minor cracks in the horn hilt (commonly seen) and some slight pitting on the blade. The scabbard mouth has an old repair. All considered, an interesting and genuine example.
Hilt length: 9cm
Blade length: 24.5cm
Blade spine thickness: 10mm
Total length: 46.7cm
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