ANTIQUE DUTCH HEMBRUG “KLEWANG” M 1898 CUTLASS
DUTCH HEMBRUG KLEWANG NAVAL CUTLASS M 1898
Presented is a first rate Dutch military
and naval Cutlass commonly known as a Klewang in its original scabbard, and in excellent condition with the sharpest
slightly curved 24 inch blade we’ve ever touched. It is stamped HEMBRUG at the ricasso on one side with a crown over
“E” on the reverse.
CONDITION: The blade has a short false edge with notched point
and large fuller down the center. It has only a few black spots and some very minor small stains, and remains in superb, original
condition. The hilt’s riveted wood iron grips with even patina of rust also remains in excellent condition. It carries
a very large iron basket guard and still has its original leather portepee. The brown leather scabbard has lightly patina
brass bands with all its stitching intact, and a frog on back which is split. The scabbard is in mostly well
preserved condition as well.
HISTORY: The Klewang is said
by some to be the most famous, and notorious fighting sword ever. It is a type of cutlass which was
derived from weapons traditionally carried by Indonesian natives. It was first adopted by soldiers of the Dutch East India
Company (the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) who added the basket guard.
Every Dutchman with only a passing interest
in colonial history, has heard about the Klewang and its service in Indoneasia,and elsewhere.
In the advanced form with the Klewang basket, it was first used
in 1898 by the Royal Dutch Army in the fight against rebel guerrilla units in the Province of Aceh (Atjeh) in Sumatra,
Indonesia, in the latter part of the Aceh War of 1873-1904. It gained a reputation that wherever there
was a violent dispute, the weapon was treated with the utmost respect.
It became a standard in other parts of the Dutch Empire and in the Netherlands it was even used by the Dutch police and naval forces. Therefore, the Klewang also known as Marechaussesäbel. Some
were used in combat against the Japanese in WW II. The Klewang remained
on issue to Dutch forces after the War, and was used again during actions against Indonesian rebels as late as 1947–48
What is mostly unknown is that the Klewang also became the basis for the U.S. Naval Cutlass
Model 1917. Nearly 50,000 examples of the Klewang were made in the U.S. It was still in service at the beginning
of WW II, and in the arms lockers of U.S. warships. In contrast to the Dutch model, the basket on the American variant
was fully enclosed. The weapon was used by the U.S. Navy officially until 1949 when it was removed from service.
KLEWANG DIMENSIONS: 29 1/8″ long overall. 24 3/8″ blade length.
Max width of blade 1 1/4″ In scabbard, 30 5/8″ Weight 2 lbs 6oz