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Author Topic:   Unusual keris for identification
karmeng
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posted 04-25-2003 00:48     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It would be nice if forum members could help authenticate this keris. Thanks in advance for your professional views on this piece.




[This message has been edited by Lee Jones (edited 04-25-2003).]

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tom hyle
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posted 04-25-2003 16:46     Click Here to See the Profile for tom hyle   Click Here to Email tom hyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
well, isn't that nice? If it's ever been etched in the Javanese fashion it hasn't been many times....

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Andrew
EEWRS Staff
posted 04-25-2003 17:11     Click Here to See the Profile for Andrew   Click Here to Email Andrew     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like this one. I've been struggling to educate myself (slowly, mind you) about keris. This one is a first for me. Are those seahorse? I particularly like this blade form with the "fullered" look to the blade. Unfortunately, I can offer nothing more than my aesthetic appreciation for this: couldn't tell you whether this is old, well made or newer and poorly made. Just that I do like it.

Where are all the keris guys when you need em?

[This message has been edited by Andrew (edited 04-25-2003).]

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Rick
EEWRS Staff
posted 04-25-2003 18:05     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick   Click Here to Email Rick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like Peninsular work ; very nice workmanship.
It would help to see the Hilt and scabbard
also dimensions of the blade,etc.

Possibly a contemporary piece?


[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 04-25-2003).]

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zelbone
Senior Member
posted 04-25-2003 18:40     Click Here to See the Profile for zelbone   Click Here to Email zelbone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very nice blade. We need Adni and DAHenkel for their comments. I'd love to hear what they have to say about this. I agree with Rick that it does look penninsular, but Adni and Dave could probably nail it down to exactly where it is from and how old it is? Could this possibly be called a malela blade?

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karmeng
Member
posted 04-26-2003 01:17     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your info. Details: No scabbard but with replaced hilt.Width of ganje 11cm. Blade length, ganje base to tip 37 cm.Blade width at center 3cm. A large dagger/keris. A one metal blade, no layers but with scattered pamoer. Workmanship looks almost like a computerised work on blade but I`m not sure. Isn't it a modern Moro short dagger or sword?

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Adni Aljunied
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posted 04-26-2003 01:33     Click Here to See the Profile for Adni Aljunied   Click Here to Email Adni Aljunied     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The keris you have is a very good one karmeng, and is a rather rare example from northern Malaysia, Terengganu or Kelantan, called keris Malela Unduk-Unduk. And yes Andrew, the unduk-unduk is referring to the sea horse. Malela blades are with thier distintive deep fullers, and this one has the sogokan stretching all the ay to the tip. Other features are also well executed, with the grenengs or fretworks having two layers of ricikans. Although it has been etched, most malela blades does not show contrasting patterns, if any at all.
The unduk-unduk is said to reflect fertility in men, as it is the male that get pregnant with the sea horses.

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karmeng
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posted 04-26-2003 03:00     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Adni and other members for the info. I leally didn`t know is a keris Melayu originating from northern or eastern states of Malaysia. Could it be forged in modern times? Photos of old version of this keris would be highly beneficial for comparison. Thanks.

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Paul de Souza
Senior Member
posted 04-26-2003 06:48     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul de Souza   Click Here to Email Paul de Souza     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice piece. The new made unduk-unduk tend to be of poorer quality metal - dull light grey rough grainy texture. I don't know if its the right word but new pieces looks "porous". There is a smith in Trengganu I believe who still specializes in making the unduk-unduk.

Yours has been polished clean of its patination. The shine I would guess indicates a fair amount of good quality steel and iron. You see a similar quality in good Northern Malela blades that have been given a similar treatment.

I might be wrong here to base age on the texture of the metal as many old Malay and Javanese keris have the grey tone and rough texture to it. I presume any piece of iron can be polished bright. It a "feel" thing - one of those emotions that is very hard to quantify and be exact. Looking at your blade - me gut tells me its not recent manufacture and most likely made before the early 20th century.

Dave is the best in this area. Where is he?

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john
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posted 04-26-2003 11:55     Click Here to See the Profile for john   Click Here to Email john     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An example of this blade could be accessed from this thread:

http://www.vikingsword.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001078.html

The symmetry of this blade is superb and one wonders if indeed it was laser cut by CNC.

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BluErf
Senior Member
posted 04-26-2003 20:37     Click Here to See the Profile for BluErf   Click Here to Email BluErf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Superb keris, much much much nicer than mine.

Mine is believed to be made by the contemporary Kelatanese smith, and is of the usual 'grey patina'.

One look at this luk 5 here and it shows the mastery of the empu. There are no awkward lines in dapur, which shows up a little bit in my own specimen.

Good catch! And I should think the hulu is nice too.

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ariel
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posted 04-27-2003 00:13     Click Here to See the Profile for ariel   Click Here to Email ariel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am not a kris collector, but even I can appreciate the beauty of this one... Just like Andrew, I am trying to learn about this fascinating blades. I read the comments left by the professionals; the terms "Madura", "Javanese" etc are flying back and forth. Can you quickly explain to me what are the characteristics of krises that allow you to pinpoint their origin with such precision? My question sounds rather naive, but please view me as a first-grader.

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karmeng
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posted 04-27-2003 01:36     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Paul, John,BluErf, Ariel and other folum members. Paul: great info from you. John: thanks for taking me to BluErf last posting of such keris.Ariel: we`re in the same boat thus nothing much I could say on identifying keris of different origin. BluErf: Your keris is great too. I leally like color of your greyish blade which shows age. I always like number 3. 3 is my lucky number. Paul is right. Maybe my keris was grey or blackish in color and become whitish and shiny after going thorough cleaning process or etched by last owner. As Paul said, all keris could possibly look shiny if cleaned thoroughly. After examining your photos, most likely (not sure) mine and yours come from the work of same Smith, except slight different in curves and features. I also agree with John that this keris of mine is perfect to be true. In my ealier posting, I did mention, it looks like a computerised work on the blade . Maybe modern tools were used to make this keris. In John`s last reply to your posting, he did guess or assume that your keris was the work of Wan Mustafa (maybe a Kelantanese). John should know better whether he (Wan Mustafa) uses laser in making his keris.If this is the case, then Keris Melayu has come under `modern development` process and in years to come keris Melayu will be mass produced and will loose its traditional image internationally. My keris has no scabbard. Hilt just replaced but ordinary. This is my first keris.

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john
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posted 04-27-2003 07:38     Click Here to See the Profile for john   Click Here to Email john     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by karmeng:
...John should know better whether he (Wan Mustafa) uses laser in making his keris.

Karmeng, that comment I made was meant to pull some leg. The fact is that I do not know if such tools are capable of making a keris of the calibre as yours although I've seen certain interesting objects like a Tower made by CNC.

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karmeng
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posted 04-27-2003 08:32     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My apologies to you John. Maybe I misunderstood what hidden behind your lines. Anyway, you`re right John. Even myself couldn`t believe it was hand forged.

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nechesh
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posted 04-28-2003 17:43     Click Here to See the Profile for nechesh   Click Here to Email nechesh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Karmeng, that's a mighty fine catch for your first keris! I agree with Paul that this is not a very recent blade, but not extremely old either and early 20th century is a good starting point. The craftsmanship is beautiful, but certainly not beyond the skills of a good empu and i don't think lasers or extremely modern tools were used here. Just fine skill. I think you may have misunderstood. BluErf has stated that his blade is recent. The gray color of the blade is not an indication of age, but rather how the blade has been prepared and treated. I am pretty sure your keris is older than his, though these things are always difficult to tell from photos alone.
If i were you i would commission a scabbard (wrongko) to be made for this blade. It is most deserving of such respect and treatment. There are still many craftsman in your gereral area of the world doing such work. Adni might be able to direct you to someone. And welcome to the form and the "keris club".

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DAHenkel
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posted 04-30-2003 05:50     Click Here to See the Profile for DAHenkel   Click Here to Email DAHenkel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First off, I think the keris unduk2 is a fairly recent (plus-minus 100 years) innovation actually. Maybe not even that old. I've never seen any obviously old ones, though I have seen a few that were beautifully made. The examples I have seen that had furnishings that indicated at least 50 years or so of age were magnificent. Marine ivory or akar bahar (on a badik w/an unduk2) hilts, gilded silver fittings, the best selected woods - really fantastic and obviously really high status pieces. Most of what I've seen though were dressed in recent furnishings. Some are better than others but none reach the level of the best older pieces.

In the last decade or two there has been a huge boom in the demand for such things - along with Tok Chu and high class malela/carita style blades. Local craftsmen are more than happy to oblige and many are happy to mislead people into thinking that their keris is antique.

Without the benefit of handling your piece or a more accurate provenance I can't be 100% sure about this keris. That said, Karmeng's example seems to me a nicely made piece but it does not have the looks of a legitimate older keris. That is not to say that it definitely isn't old, nor that it isn't nice.

Washing would help to clear matters up. If the piece shows evidence of quenching that would definitely increase the odds of its being old. It is definitely pattern welded as there is obvious layering in the ganja. Lots of smiths still pattern weld in Kelantan and Terengganu. However, where they fail is in the sepuh. Few are willing to risk catastrophic failure of the welds by quenching. Particularly as they lack the knowledge of the old school smiths to do it properly.

To wash properly I would suggest a solution of 2-1 artificial vinegar and water (use rain or stream water or even distilled water but not tap water, chlorine turns the blade brown), along with some limes (limau Bali). Your blade isn't too dirty or rusty so it shouldn't take too long to get good results. Degrease and wax the thing first using spirit. Immerse it completely in your solution and scrub periodically with a toothbrush. Don't leave the blade unattended for too long as it could pit or turn too dark. An even, medium grey color is nicest, without any shine.

If the sepuh was done you will notice it as a darkening towards the tip or at about the midpoint of the blade. At the level that the blade was submerged there is often an even darker band of gray-black.

As for fittings - there are people in Kelantan and Terengganu who can help you out if you want to dress the piece properly. I'd reccomend my buddy Nik Rashidee Nik Hussein as he is IMHO the best in the business at this sort of thing. He is a great craftsmen who studies antique pieces extensively and knows how to make them right. And nobody has the quality of wood and other materials that he has. Rashidee is expensive though by comparison with other people. He can be reached at his shop at 09-773-7135.

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karmeng
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posted 04-30-2003 12:09     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Nechesh for your views and I`ll order a custom-made sheath for this keris. Many thanks to DAHenkel for your useful info. I certaily aglee with you on its age and I would guess not more than 50 years of age. I paid very high for this keris and will keep it as my first keris unless someone is interested to own it. I will look for more keris but this time focussing more on older blades. Paul Page keris seems very useful and I`m learning it now. Many interesting keris at Adni Malay Art GAllery. Thanks for Nik Rashidee contact number and I will visit him one day. Once again, thank your Sir and other forum members.

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nechesh
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posted 05-02-2003 16:39     Click Here to See the Profile for nechesh   Click Here to Email nechesh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Dave. There has been some recent mention in various keris threads of quenching. While i am fairly certain i understand WHAT it is, i'm not so clear on what it does as a function of the forging process. Can you or anyone else explain what makes a quenched blade superior to an unquenched one. Are there any other signs to this process other than the one you mentioned?

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DAHenkel
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posted 05-03-2003 09:50     Click Here to See the Profile for DAHenkel   Click Here to Email DAHenkel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Perhaps someone with a better understanding of this process would be better able to explain it. To the best of my knowledge the quenching process hardens the outer surface of the blade making it stronger.

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karmeng
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posted 05-03-2003 12:36     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As DAHenkel wrote: {The examples I have seen that had furnishings that indicated at least 50 years or so of age were magnificent. Marine ivory or akar bahar (on a badik w/an unduk2}. Please find pictures of Unduk Unduk on a Badik, the last piece of unduk unduk belongs to the owner whom I bought the keris flom. I`m not sure whether this piece is genuinely old or a replica. Your comment please.

[This message has been edited by Lee Jones (edited 05-04-2003).]

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cylord21
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posted 05-03-2003 23:23     Click Here to See the Profile for cylord21   Click Here to Email cylord21     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nechesh and DAHenkel

Quench is the process of hardening steal, it can be done by temperature or by cementation using chemicals and carbon, hardness is measured in Rockwells. When using temperature the metal is heated at very high temperatures and then cooled down very fast usually submerging the piece in oil, the material gets very hard all over, that is on the outside as well as on the inside of the piece but leave the metal with no flexibility at all. This process can be sometimes reversed by heating the piece again but cooling it down slowly at room temperature. Cementation only hardens the surface of the material leaving the inside of the piece softer and flexible.

On Japanese swords I understand the blade is covered with some kind of clay all over but the edge, the clay allows heat only on the uncovered area making the edge (yakiba, temper line) hard but leaving the rest of the blade protected making it flexible.

As the material temper get harder (a higher Rockwell #, 60 for example) the material also gets brittle, that explains those nicks that looks more like chips on Japanese blades edges. Japanese smiths mastered the technique to make blades extremely hard without making it brittle, a difficult task due to the compromise that must be achieved between hardness and flexibility.

A hardened steal somewhere around 60 Rockwell cannot be cut, drill or file down without a special tool, giving the material quite a resistant to wear. This would make a blade with long lasting sharp edges but as the material is also brittle the blade get very vulnerable to impacts and eventually break.

Note: not an expert on hardening process but thought it would be of help

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Lee Jones
EEWRS Staff
posted 05-04-2003 18:44     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Jones   Click Here to Email Lee Jones     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos have been added; just bringing this to the top.

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karmeng
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posted 05-05-2003 00:24     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Lee for posting photos of unduk unduk on badik. Could it be a new blade made to look old or is it natural old? Could it be first form of unduk unduk was made on a badik Melayu and not on keris?

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DAHenkel
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posted 05-05-2003 02:36     Click Here to See the Profile for DAHenkel   Click Here to Email DAHenkel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks to me to have some genuine age to it though exactly how much is a question. Note the fairly deep chunk of old rust between the unduk unduk and the forte (mar). Another interesting feature is the fuller which in this case seems to run right to the end of the blade - or is that an optical illusion? If so, the blade may have been broken at some point and the tip re-shaped though certainly before a significant amount of aging occurred. This piece appears to have been neglected for quite some time as the rust is really deep and seems to have affected the entire piece. I can also see that the fittings for the piece are new, which of course suggests that the original fittings were lost or damaged beyond repair. Another interesting feature of this piece is that the forte resembles those of tombak/lembing. This style of badik blade is quite rare actually. I recently acquired a blade that started life as a tombak but was converted to a badik. Its somewhat like this though I think that in this case it was purpose made as a badik. This would make a nice badik stupa. Fairly sure that its Pattani but the age is anyone's guess. Could be 50 years - could be 250. Impossible to tell without simmilar examples with provenance. I shall keep these picutres handy and hopefully show them around. Maybe I can find out a thing or two.

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Mayang Mengurai
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posted 05-10-2003 23:10     Click Here to See the Profile for Mayang Mengurai   Click Here to Email Mayang Mengurai     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I m new to this forum. In my personal opinion, your keris unduk2 is new, made under limited edition in Trengganu but expensive though. The blade was blackened using `used motor oil`. I came across with this kind of blade few yrs ago in Kelantan. Is it possible to show more closeup pictures {AFTER CLEANING} of your badik unduk2 for further authentication. Blade features proven rare and interesting. I m a Trengganu Malay. Greetings.

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VANDOO
Senior Member
posted 05-11-2003 00:27     Click Here to See the Profile for VANDOO   Click Here to Email VANDOO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
WELCOME MAYANG MENGURAI IT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO ADD ANOTHER MEMBER TO THE GROUP AND INCREASE OUR BASE OF KNOWLEGE. I HAVE SOME KERIS BUT AM STILL LEARNING AND THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF VARIATION IN KERIS TYPES, PARMORS AND OTHER FEATURES.
THE SYMBOLISM AND THE POWERS THAT CERTIAN DESIGNS AND PARMORS ARE REPUTED TO HAVE ARE ALSO VERY INTERESTING. THE MALE SEAHORSE DOES INDEED CARRY AND HATCH THE EGGS, THEY ARE ALSO SOLD DRYED IN CHINESE PHARMACYS THE WORLD OVER. I ASSUME THAT THE DRYED SEAHORSE IS TO MAKE THE MAN POTENT SO HE WILL HAVE MANY SONS (KIND OF A ANCIENT VIAGRA ) PERHAPS THE SEAHORSE SYMBOL ON THE KERIS GRANTS THE SAME POTENCY? IF SO DOES THE NAGA, DRAGON , FLYING HORSE, MONK AND TIGER GRANT SOME SORT OF PROTECTION OR POWER TO THE OWNER? WHAT COMBINATION OF POWERS DOES THE ABOVE KERIS HAVE? SEAHORSE = FERTILITY, THE PARMOR = ?, THE HANDLE = ?

THESE POWERS GIVEN BY THE VARIOUS PARMORS AND DESIGNS MAKE THE KERIS A POWERFUL TAILSMAN TO THOSE WHO BELEAVE.

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karmeng
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posted 05-11-2003 14:47     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks DAHenkel for your views. To Mayang Mengulai: I`m sorry sir, presently the badek belongs to somebody else and I`m unable to produce close-up pictures taken after cleaning as you required. Maybe I should own it myself, clean it and take some pictures.

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john
Senior Member
posted 05-12-2003 20:48     Click Here to See the Profile for john   Click Here to Email john     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VANDOO:

...MANY SONS (KIND OF A ANCIENT VIAGRA ) PERHAPS THE SEAHORSE SYMBOL ON THE KERIS GRANTS THE SAME POTENCY?

As a matter of fact, the indigenous of many parts of SE Asia have for ages known an aphrodisiac in the form of a plant root called "Tongkat Ali", literally "Ali's Stick". You may like to do a google search if you want to know more of this wonder herb.

BTW, Mayang Mengurai, selamat datang ke-forum ini. It's not the first time I've heard of the use of used motor oil in the manner you've described.

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karmeng
Member
posted 06-03-2003 02:08     Click Here to See the Profile for karmeng   Click Here to Email karmeng     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found this Badik Unduk Unduk in Kota Kinabalu, Kelantan recently. It is longer than my ealier posting. The blade seems to be older maybe 18th centuly. Older dress 1950s or 1960s. It is up for grab.






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