Klewang Sabre Blade
Place of Origin: Indonesia
Date: Circa 1900 A.D.
Overall Blade: 945mm
An interesting blade based upon a Royal Netherlands East Indian Army (KNIL) Klewang sword. The KNIL or, Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger, was formed by royal decree on 10th March 1830. It was not part of the Royal Netherlands Army, but a separate military unit specifically formed for service in the Dutch East Indies. The military Klewang sword was developed for use in the Dutch tropical colonies as a reply to the resistance from the fierce native warriors, usually made in Hamburg - Netherlands, or Solingen - Germany, this blade is made in Indonesia, and displays an attractive surface pamoror damascus pattern achieved by a native empu (smith) using the same technology used to produce the famous patterned Keris blades.
Never a military issue, or used by the natives, this blade was either a special commission or a presentation to a Dutch officer.
The blade was probably never mounted, and has been preserved by the original case which is lined with red velvet. An attached old paper label with a hand-written note in Dutch reads:
Echt gedamasceerde sabel
“real Damascus sabre”.
It takes a refined form of the military sabre it is based upon, ground and highly polished. A deep spine fuller with a wide ground central panel; the tip shaped in what is termed as a ‘clip-point’. The pamor pattern is achieved by forge-welding metal pieces of differing composition together, twisting and manipulating them, and etching the polished blade to reveal the desired pattern. In this case, revealed, is a wonderful dark background with silvery white lines.
This type of steel is usually found on shorter local swords, and in knives and daggers, such as the Keris, so to find an example in this length and form is highly unusual.