Other knives?

When Uncle Bill reads this post . He should know who I am. I have one less HI British patern My son has a good friend that is a Marine Sniper. He is now somewhere in the far east. The day he left his home for his current posting ,I gave him the HI it was the best I could do if he had to go in harms way to bring him back. The gift still leaves me with 10 . I st0pped selling boats Bill but the name and address should ring a bell
To all you knowledgable folks on blades of the south pacific. I inherited two interesting knives, don't have a clue as to what they are. Knife 1- 16" blade, 2 1/4 " wide about mid way, drop point,a lot of belly on the edge, wood handle with a extreme curve to create a pinky hook, brass ferrel about half the handle length, blade has a lovely taper from hilt to point, the sheath is wood two pieces wound with fine cane or rattan, the mouth of the sheath is ornatly carved with scroll work and mother of pearl inlay. Knife 2- 19 " blade, 1 5/8" wide at 1/3rd down from point, spine is almost straight, blade gradually narrows as it meets handle to 1 1/8", Wood handle, nice curve, widens at butt, braided rattan or cane around 1/2 of handle, handle is faceted and has a pinky hook not as pronounced as the other blade. Wood sheath held together with 4 braided bands, has a carved wood belt loop although only a small rope would fit thru the hole. There appears to be a wood pin near the tip of the sheath to aid in holding her together. Any info would be greatly appreciated. :)
Pics would help but it sounds like you got a couple of WWII era barongs. Cant tell for sure but if you had pics it would help.
Thanks Much Federico, I haven't figured out how to post a picture on here yet. The knives were given to me by my wifes grandfather, he was in the US Armies Calvary when they still rode horses. That would have put him in the Philipines in 1931. Just thinking aloud here. I'll try and make some drawings and figure how to post them. Also I'll try and dig up a copy of that book by Robert Cato, I know it 's out of print. Thanks for your input I really appreciate it.Take Care.
The 1st one sounds definitely like a barong, not so sure about the 2nd, although it could be.
It seems as if I remember a blade like that, but can't recall what it's called. But it didn't have a point, the end of the blade was almost flat and sometimes had a series of holes in it with some of them breaking thru the front of the point.

Sounds to me like you have a real treasure though.:D :cool:!!!!!!!
Usually things like that inhierited were brought back from overseas by a family member and were/are the real deal.
And if it's a real antique barong it could be worth several hundred dollars!!!!:cool:!!!!
Hi Yvsa, It looked like we were writting and posting those last entries at the same time. Thanks for your reply to. They are both in pretty fair shape. Although the first one had the handle butchered a little when someone tried to reset it, a spike tang, and pushed it through the side of the handle. I also was given two katanas one is made just before WWII, the tang has no smiths marks, and is rather quickly made. But the other, while used in the same time period has a older blade it was signed and is much more finely made. From what I've read many older blades were refitted for use in the war. I'm hopeing that it is a valuable piece. Haven't found anyone that can appraise it yet. Have a good evening Yvsa. Gary
Gary you might drop Broken Arrow, Ray an e-mail.
Ray is an expert on the Filipino blades!!
The problem is is that Ray is always so very busy.
But he could no doubt tell you what you have with the barong and your other knife and possibly even get you in touch with someone about your katana's.

And if you would like your barong rehandled Ray is the man who can do it, but you have to get into line behind me.
I have a Sundang that needs new baca-baca put on it.:)
I don't know how long the tang is on the barongs, but on my Sundang it's only about 5/8" if that much!!!!!!!
The baca-baca is what holds the handle and blade together.
They filipino smiths sure didn't waste any steel!!!!
Actually the baca baca was meant to hold the guard and the blade together. Normally the handle is secured to the blade by resin. Some baca-baca do have tails that go under the wrapping others dont. There really is no set rules. The reason I am thinking WWII era is the mother of pearl inlay and the rattan wrapping. That became popular around WWII. However Id need to know if its a full wrap or partial. Also the shape of the scabbard and the Cockatua is helpful. I was very unclear about the second description thats why I cant be certain. If it does have a belt loop it could be a gunong or any wide number of other knives. Again pictures help. If you can send them via email I can give you a better id. If I cant I can also send them to people much more versed than me in moro weaponry. Barongs also tended tp have shorter tangs more along the lengths of the ferrule very similar to the tang construction of a dha. A kris should have a longer tang depending if there was any damage. I have an old antique article on kris that goes through the construction of moro kris. As for worth it depends on quality and age and well who's selling it. A real good datu kris in perfect condition about 1850s with a ivory cockatua can sell for $600 in one place or $400 at another. Some dealers sell them for a grand, but thats more the rarity than the norm. A good WWII era barong should be worth around $250 depending on quality. If its a pre-1900 datu barong in good shape then around $400 is more normal. Again price is hard to determine since it can really vary from one dealer to another. But generally for the dealers Ive dealt with who deal in large amounts of moro swords these are somewhat normal pricing.
Well hello Blackbear I took a couple of real bad pics of some of my own barongs so that you could have something to refer to. Here they are.


The top barong is a WWII era barong and the bottom one is a more modern version. The pictures are real bad but I guess you can get the general idea.
Thanks Federico and Yvsa, My first knife is a barong , comparing it to your photos. Mine is not quite as fancy. The handle is identicle in shape but the ferrel is a bit plainer it is about half the length of the handle, and has several fine grooves etched/carved? into the handle giving the appearance of rings or bands, the whole ferrel is brass with no other materials used. The sheath is wrapped about half way up from the tip and stops there. And picks up just below the carved top portion. The inlay is three small flowers. Looking real close it is possible that the wrapping did go all the way up but it's not loose or coming off. Does making quality repairs detract from its value, not that I am interested in selling them but maybe someday I might have to. Thanks again for your help.
Depends on the quality repairs and the person buying. As with all antiques any change to it can be potentially detrimental to its value unless done extremely well by a knowledgeable restorer. What kind of repairs were you thinking of doing? As for the wrapping pre 1930s barongs werent a full wrap like mine but usually only partially, so if you do have an older barong then its fine as is.
Federico, (I'm going to have to put in a direct link to you)The tang, which is about 4" long, has been pushed through the side of the handle and is sticking out about 1/8" on the convex face. It looks as though the handle came loose and someone tried to reset it, drove the handle on crooked and wal-ah! ruined handle, looks like some epoxy may have been added as well. I'm a woodworker of 38 years + and a blacksmith of 16 years both professionally. If you could tell me what type of wood was typically used I think I may replace it. I've made a few knives over the years as well. I'll take a before and after pic and get them to you to see what you think. Talk to ya later. Gary
Well the wood most commonly used in barongs is the burl of banati aka. bunti aka banate aka perupok aka perupuk. macassar ebony may be a substitue, but then again not necessarily. Other things used for the carving of cockatuas are ivory, carabao horn (water buffalo), and bone As for the availability of banati its not something that I have been able to find in the US. Traditionally the blade was set in with a dark natural resin by heating the tang, but I believe modern epoxy is the only real substitute available. You could ask Philip Tom of Seven Stars Trading company for advice he is an experienced antique arms restorer, also Cecil Quirino of Kris Cutlery is the foremost moro sword expert in the country if not the world, and you can always try asking this question on the ethnographic edge forum at www.vikingsword.com/ethsword/index.html
Federico, These all sound like excellent resourses I couldn't have found any of them without your help. Nothing like getting it from the horses mouth. These are uncharted waters for me. Thanks again. I'll start making contacts asap.Gary
One of the things that makes this a great forum is the forumites willingness to help. Ask and ye shall receive. Great bunch.