In very good overall condition, a quality 19th Century North Borneo / Sabah Dyak / Batak Piso Padang / Podang Sword with Garuda hilt.
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The Batak are a subset of the Borneo Dayak people, renowned for being both head hunters and pirates. This is a well above average example with cast garuda head hilt (tested for silver, but has very low percentage, which is normal for these swords). This piso podang comes with a letter of provenance dated 1970 from the original beneficiary of this sword, given to him by a Batak chief (see below).
The 24 1/8 inch blade has some patina / light rust pitting, but not too much, and if firm in the hilt. The eagle hilt in very good condition.
How rare is this sword? Just Google Piso Podang and you will see “plenty” of Sumatran round hill versions, but few if any Garuda hilted swords loke this one. The Garuda (bird) hilted Piso Podang is purely native to Borneo, particularly Sarawak in Northern (Malaysian) Borneo. The more common Sumatran Piso Podang have symetrical round hilts / pommels, although these more common form of sword are also found in Borneo (in Indonesian areas of Borneo).
A solid investment for just was £? (too late, now sold). Please quote item reference R06. Further / full sized images available upon request. Box 0469-82×16.