Amanremu Sword with Suasa & Silver Mounts
North Sumatra, Indonesia
length: 47cm, weight: 342g
This fine short sword from Sumatra known as an amanremu has a bifurcate dark-horn hilt sheafed in suasa with rope-twist suasa wire and with a suasa collar. (Suasa, also known as tembaga suasa, is a gold and copper alloy with a reddish hue used most frequently encountered in fine, decorative Sumatran metalwork.)
The scabbard is of dark wood with sixteen bands of hammered sheet silver, and a chape of
suasa with silver bands.
The single-edged blade is of steel and has a straight back. It broadens to an oblique point.
The hilt is believed to emulate the open mouth of a crocodile and is known as a
hulu babah buya hilt (‘the mouth of a crocodile’).
This sword is particularly decorative. It has a fine patina and its condition reflects its age and use. There are losses to the applied rope-twist wire work here and there and the silver bands applied to the scabbard have shifted over time. The use of
suasa with silver against the dark horn and wood is a particularly attractive combination.References:
Van Zonneveld, A., Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, C. Zwartenkot Art Books, 2001.
US art market
Inventory no.: 1281