Original Victorian Era Tajung Kris Dagger in Scabbard from North Malaysia with Exotic Toothed Blade

Item Description

Original Item: One Only. The kris or keris is a prized asymmetrical dagger most strongly associated with the culture of Indonesia, but also indigenous to Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore. It is known as kalis in the southern Philippines. The kris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade.

A kris can be divided into three parts: bilah (blade), hulu (hilt), and warangka (sheath). These parts of the kris are objects of art, often carved in meticulous detail and made from various materials: metal, precious or rare types of wood, or gold or ivory. A kris's aesthetic value covers the dhapur (the form and design of the blade, with around 150 variants), the pamor (the pattern of metal alloy decoration on the blade, with around 60 variants), and tangguh referring to the age and origin of a kris.

Both a weapon and spiritual object, kris are often considered to have an essence or presence, considered to possess magical powers, with some blades possessing good luck and others possessing bad. Kris are used for display, as talismans with magical powers, weapons, a sanctified heirloom (pusaka), auxiliary equipment for court soldiers, an accessory for ceremonial dress, an indicator of social status, a symbol of heroism, etc. Legendary kris that possess supernatural power and extraordinary ability were mentioned in traditional folktales, such as those of Mpu Gandring, Taming Sari, and Setan Kober.

This example is not a modern tourist item, it is the real thing dating from the 19th century.

The key to identify the older blades is to be able to find the join at the hilt end of the blade as the horn was always added as a separate piece. Later examples and modern tourist pieces were always had blades made from just one sheet of steel. This example definitely has the separate hilt end of the blade, which is then brazed or welded on.

Each section of the Dutch East Indies produced the traditional Kris Daggers but each district, Java, Borneo, and others had their own characteristics. This area is today covered by what we know as Indonesia, Malaysia and the Phillipines.

This example is quite extraordinary: it is a straightforward Kris dagger known as a Tajung from what is today Northern Malaysia. It has been made with the most exotic Meteor iron and nickel forged blade we have ever seen. This type of blade is quite rarely seen, and is known as a Dhapur Naga Penganten.

The hilt is of carved wood known as a KINGFISHER hilt in that the shape does bear an amazing resemblance to a bird. The hilt is fitted to the blade with a gold metal fitting beautifully decorated and inlaid with what appear to be Red, Green and Colorless gem stones, two of each totaling six in all. The blade is forged from METEORIC IRON are folded many times to highlight the nickel content of the iron. The blade, which is about 15" in length is heavily carved and chiseled now showing a cutting edge that best can be described as rows of teeth. These extend down both sides of the wavy blade. The body of the blade looks to be a row of bones, giving the overall impression of a human spine.

The dagger is about 20" in overall length in its rather plain but old wooden scabbard. This most likely dates to the Victorian era and was brought home by a British Soldier. There is some evidence that blades of this type may very well have been carried by SHAMANS and were regarded as talismans to ward off evil spirits etc.

Most impressive from the reign of Queen Victoria and ready to display.

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