Moro Keris Kalis
Southern Philippines, Sulu or Maguindanao Region – Moro people – 19th century
Materials: Silver, Steel, Horn
A type of keris associated to the Philippines, especially the Moro people from the Southern Philippines. Commonly known among locals as the ‘Kalis‘ keris which is often larger and heaver than its Malay counter piece. A distinctive feature is the rather straight forte overflowing in to a double curve, ending in a near straight tip, while others can be near straight. It can be considered more a short sword rather than a dagger and always features a double cutting edge. This example seems to be designated probably to a ‘panglima‘, a high ranked military warrior serving the Sultan.
Of very high quality, often seen on high ranked keris attributed to ‘panglima‘ or other dignitaries. The wooden hilt was attached to a silver ferrule and bound in fine silver wire making a wonderful braided pattern. The pommel is made of horn and depicts a stylistic version of a cockatoo.
A fine and heavy example with a semi curve and double edged blade. The ‘Ganja‘ of the blade is covered with a sheet of silver and has an original and rare blued finish. The front of the blade has a ‘kaceng‘ and the back is cut with outmost precision. The forte of the blade has four fullers on each side leaping in to two fullers which end near the tip. High class ‘kalis‘ blades are forged with outmost precision and often show lamination, pattern welding or sometimes even twist core patterns. The cutting edge on both sides ends near the tip which has a medial ridge running whole the way back to the forte. The blade was held in place with two silver clams attached to the ‘ganja‘ Another feature is true silver inlay nearly down the entire blade ending in a floral symbol near the tip.
A magnificent example, well forged and considering the silver decoration on the hilt, made for the higher class. This quality is considered scarce on todays art market and suits in an advanced collection.
Condition: Very good, some minor old remains of pitting which is very light. The blueing is original and so is the silver wired hilt. The horn cockatoo pommel has a chip on the back, further excellent.
Blade ganja thickness: 11 mm
Blade length: 48.5cm
Total length: 60.5cm
Provenance: French private collection, collected in the 19th century.
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