5925

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Malay Sword with Horn Hilt & Silver Mounts (Klewang)

Malay Peninsula or Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

length: 87cm, weight: 935g

Available - Enquire

Provenance

UK art market

This long sword of klewang or pedang has a chased scabbard of solid silver over a wood base; a curved, single-edged blade; a hilt grip clad in finely chased and engraved silver; and a hilt pommel of beautifully carved and pierced horn.

The blade is of damascened or watered iron and is inlaid in silver near the hilt on both sides with a naga (serpent) motif.

Such klewangs seem to have been used on the Malay peninsula, in Sumatra and in what is now southern Thailand (but was the Islamic sultanate of Patani). It is likely that they were made in several locations and then also traded elsewhere so that the precise location of manufacture is difficult to pinpoint.

A very similar example is illustrated in Sumner & Osborne (2001, p. 68).

The example here is in excellent condition. The blade fits perfectly into the scabbard.

References

Hales, R., Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion, Robert Hale CI Ltd, 2013.

Sumner, C. & M. Osborne, Arts of Southeast Asia: From the Powerhouse Museum Collection, Powerhouse Publishing, 2001.

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