Ethnographic Arms & Armour

Ethnographic Arms & Armour (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/index.php)
-   Keris Warung Kopi (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=11)
-   -   Banten? Keris (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23514)

Athanase 2nd January 2018 07:56 PM

Banten? Keris
 
3 Attachment(s)
As asked by several of here you here is a subject specially for this keris.
The blade fits well in the sheath even if the ganja exceeds slightly.

Marcokeris 2nd January 2018 08:40 PM

:eek: beautiful

A. G. Maisey 2nd January 2018 10:41 PM

Yes, beautiful, but the blade is not classifiable as Banten.

In my previous post to the other thread that showed this keris, I was leaning towards Pajajaran, but still very uncertain, because the blumbangan looked a tiny bit too square. In these new photos I believe that the blumbangan tends towards boto rubuh, and if this is so, I am much more confident of a Pajajaran classification, and absolutely positive that it cannot be classified as Banten.

Athanase 2nd January 2018 10:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Ok Alan, I just repeated what was said in the other topic because I did not know what to write as a title.
I realize that I had forgotten to put the photo of the back of the handle.

A. G. Maisey 3rd January 2018 12:42 AM

No problem Athanese, I'm only talking about the keris itself, that is, the wilah, or blade. I have only passing interest in the dress, that could come from anywhere, and should not influence classification of the blade.

I understand "Banten" as title for the thread, that seems to be what was agreed previously, but I use different parameters to most people and I do have the advantage of having handled these Dresden keris and photographed them, which means I have notes and perhaps a dozen or more photos of each keris.

Jean 3rd January 2018 12:20 PM

Hello Athanase,
Do you know the history or provenance of the kris and what is the blade length excluding the pesi?
Regards

Athanase 3rd January 2018 02:55 PM

I have no information on it and the seller is a dealer specialized in militaria (he also had 2 spear points possibly Thai and a Vietnamese Dao, the rest being European militaria).
(Fortunately, it was not an auction and I was one of the first to see the announcement! ) :D

The length of the blade is 37cm.

kai 3rd January 2018 03:20 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Quote:
Fortunately, it was not an auction and I was one of the first to see the announcement!

Lucky you! ;)


Quote:
The length of the blade is 37cm.

Thanks!

I guess, you didn't remove the hilt yet?

Regards,
Kai

kai 3rd January 2018 03:23 PM

quoted from another thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...32&postcount=41

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello SÚverin,

As you'll have noticed, you certainly lucked out on these 2 keris!



It is a relatively early JD hilt which still shows some features of it cousins from the northern Jawa coast. Very nice craftsmanship!


The second keris is exceptional and shows the classic workmanship. It exhibits a cunning similarity to keris #2886 from the Dresden museum (provenance dating from 1671): only the kruwingan of your piece are shorter; examples with a plain gandik combined with "full" greneng are quite rare, anyway. Keris #2899 from the Dresden museum (provenance dating from 1676) is also similar.

BTW, the mendak is also of special interest: I can't remember any close matches but some semblance might be seen here:
Jakarta museum E 261 (a gift of the Mataram court)
Zeevaartschool (Kweekschool voor de Zeevaart), Amsterdam [stolen] (provenance dating from 1692)

Close-ups with high resolution would be great for detailed discussions!

Regards,
Kai

kai 3rd January 2018 03:25 PM

Alan's post quoted from the other thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...59&postcount=42

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
These comments are relative to the blade only of the second keris.

In my opinion this is not a Banten blade.

Typically the Banten wilah has a boto adeg blumbangan, the blumbangan of this keris is square.

There are two possibilities:- Mataram or Pajajaran

Condition and garap of the blade implies Mataram, but the dress is contrary to this.

It is very difficult to consider Pajajaran as possible because I have never seen a blade accepted as Pajajaran in such fine condition as this one:- I have no basis for comparison. However, the slightly concave gandhik is not a feature usually found in a Mataram blade, and a ron dha of this style is not typically associated with Mataram. So, although difficult, my inclination is to give this blade as Pajajaran.

In any case, it is old, it is fine, it is a very desireable.

Dresden 2886 has a Mataram blumbangan, square but not particulary large; the body cross section is the typical Tuban rotan, it does not have a ron dha that is classifiable, ie, it does have a ron dha but that ron dha cannot be aligned to an accepted form, however, I note that there is a possibility of corrosive damage to the greneng of 2886, which has impacted the ron dha; 2886 lacks kruwingan. However, the pawakan is similar to the pawakan of the keris under discussion.

Kai, I can see no similarity at all between Dresden 2899 and the keris under discussion. Dresden 2899 even uses a metuk instead of mendak and is of totally different dhapur and garap. Can you please tell me what the similarities are? Thanks.

Athanase 3rd January 2018 03:25 PM

The hilt is solidly fixed, and as it's split at the base, I didn't dare to force it to remove it for fear of breaking it. :shrug:

kai 3rd January 2018 03:27 PM

Jean's reply from the other thread: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...76&postcount=43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
For those of you who have the Krisdisk from Jensen, the Dresden # 2886 kris is shown on page 28 of the Banten chapter for comparison with Athanase's kris.

Alan, the greneng/ ron dha (and the ganja to a lower extent) of Athanase's kris do not look in line with the drawing which you showed us recently?
Regards

kai 3rd January 2018 03:28 PM

And the last post to bring all info over here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showp...79&postcount=44

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Jean & Alan,

I was mulling over exactly the same apparent discrepancy!

Of course, the drawing are based on specimens which have been exposed to humid tropical climate and regular cleaning & etching - so we have to allow for quite a bit of erosion when comparing contemporary Jawa features with early collected museum pieces. A ron dha nunut is crafted from relatively thin metal and, thus, more prone to change from erosion and revision. However, the ron dha is usually crafted from fairly substantial metal and I have a hard time to fathom how the base could converge into the typical form unless by the helping hand of someone eager to implement change... (The tips and hooks are much more likely to degrade during routine maintenance, of course.)

In the mean time, SÚverin posted a separate thread for this keris - maybe we can keep this thread for discussing Cirebon/North coast hilts and move the keris discussion over here?
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23514

Regards,
Kai

kai 3rd January 2018 06:06 PM

Hello Alan,

Thanks a lot for your comments!

I, for one, wasn't necessarily suggesting Banten. ;)

However, it is certainly interesting to have such an early blade with (apparently) its complete "original" fittings, even if these are of secondary importance...


Quote:
In my opinion this is not a Banten blade.

Typically the Banten wilah has a boto adeg blumbangan, the blumbangan of this keris is square.

There are two possibilities:- Mataram or Pajajaran

Condition and garap of the blade implies Mataram, but the dress is contrary to this.

It is very difficult to consider Pajajaran as possible because I have never seen a blade accepted as Pajajaran in such fine condition as this one:- I have no basis for comparison. However, the slightly concave gandhik is not a feature usually found in a Mataram blade, and a ron dha of this style is not typically associated with Mataram. So, although difficult, my inclination is to give this blade as Pajajaran.

Dresden 2886 exhibits a concave gandik, too.

Any ideas how strictly controlled/enforced dapur was during the very early Mataram Senopaten court? During any major cultural transition, one might either expect pieces with mosaic features (alluding to different sources) or a (possibly fast evolving) "new style" to build a new social identity/cohesion?


Quote:
Dresden 2886 has a Mataram blumbangan, square but not particulary large; the body cross section is the typical Tuban rotan, it does not have a ron dha that is classifiable, ie, it does have a ron dha but that ron dha cannot be aligned to an accepted form, however, I note that there is a possibility of corrosive damage to the greneng of 2886, which has impacted the ron dha; 2886 lacks kruwingan. However, the pawakan is similar to the pawakan of the keris under discussion.

I do see shallow kruwingan extending approx. to the third luk: The concave channels are more obvious next to the sogokan and rather quickly fading out after the 2nd luk or so (still, an ada-ada is visible between the kruwingan, too).


Quote:
Kai, I can see no similarity at all between Dresden 2899 and the keris under discussion. Dresden 2899 even uses a metuk instead of mendak and is of totally different dhapur and garap. Can you please tell me what the similarities are?

I did not want to imply that these two keris have the same dapur nor that they are closely related. However, the concave gandik and very pronounced tikel alis appear to be similar features for a start. The apparently unique metuk (or metuk-like iron mendak?) does not preclude to compare this wilah with other keris blades, doesn't it?

Regards,
Kai

David 3rd January 2018 08:27 PM

Kai,
Thank you very much for taking it upon yourself to transfer a few of the posts from the other thread to this thread. Be careful though, or Rick and i might just have to curse you with a moderator title for your trouble. ;) :D

A. G. Maisey 3rd January 2018 08:29 PM

Kai, since yesterday I have moved away from my records and it will be at least 2, possibly 3, days until I can respond to you adequately.

My previous remarks have been made upon the basis of +/- 12 photos of the "Banten" keris, as well as notes made while I was handling it. I am not using Jensen, as I still do not have access to that work.

I will respond when I am able.

David 3rd January 2018 08:33 PM

I would also ask, is anyone capable of presenting photos of these Dresden examples (2886 and 2899) here for these discussions? For many of us these conversations are useless without a visual illustration to follow along with these observations. Thanks!

A. G. Maisey 3rd January 2018 09:39 PM

David, I believe that the only way anybody can actually get any understanding at all of the Dresden keris is to obtain permission from the relevant curator to examine them.

I did obtain that permission, and the price I had to pay was my signature on a legal document that ensured I could never publish, share, or lend any photograph of any item that I had photographed.

Some other people who have published photographs of these keris have broken the conditions agreed to and have laid themselves open to prosecution.

I personally feel that it might be difficult for a German organisation to pursue charges against an Australian over a matter such as this, but there is the possibility that I may wish to examine these keris again one day, and I want to be able to do so.

Incidentally, every other museum that has permitted me to examine their holdings has imposed similar requirements to those imposed by Dresden. In most cases, not quite as formal, nor as frightening, as Dresden, but legally enforceable just the same. In Dresden it was explained to me that the document I was obliged to sign in order to gain access was the result of previous betrayals of trust.

David 3rd January 2018 10:36 PM

Alan, it is my understanding that at least one of these Dresden keris has been published in Jensen's Krisdisk. I have no understanding as to whether or not he did that with or without permission, but to copy the photo here would certainly fall under fair usage for educational purposes. I, for one, do not own a copy of the disk.
Yes, i am certain that to truly understand the Dresden keris one should actually handle them, but if you gentleman are going to continue to make reference to these keris in comparison over and over again it would indeed be useful to see the photograph(s) of them presented in Jensen.
In any case, i certainly was not suggesting that you publish your own personal photos of these keris as i am well aware of the arrangements that you made with this museum when you had the opportunity to handle them.

Athanase 3rd January 2018 11:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I would also ask, is anyone capable of presenting photos of these Dresden examples (2886 and 2899) here for these discussions? For many of us these conversations are useless without a visual illustration to follow along with these observations. Thanks!


Yes please because I am a little lost. I am still sad with the specific vocabulary of various part of the blade (especially that on the Internet plans don't use every the same name or the same spelling). :o

I don't understand this stupid regulation that forbids the sharing of photos of a piece kept in museums. A museum is made to preserve and share a knowledge or a masterpiece with the biggest numbers! If the object isn't exposed and that the museum prohibits the photos it should either publish official photos on its website, or in a publication available for purchase for those interested. :mad:

Otherwise, would it be possible for those who have photos to draw shematically the blades in question? (when you have some time of course). :shrug:

A. G. Maisey 4th January 2018 01:33 AM

David, I do not currently have access to Jensen's Kris Disc, and I am not looking at his photos, I have been looking at my own photos which are much more detailed and supported by notes on the various features of each keris I examined.

I prefer not to comment on Jensen's use of photographs.

Athanase, keris terminology can be very confusing. Spellings for the same word can vary, and the words themselves are seldom carved in stone. This link may assist a little:-

http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/kerisdiagram.html

In respect of the attitudes of museums, I prefer not to comment, except to say that many people do share your opinion.

On the other hand, I have always found museum staffs very obliging in making items held by them available for examination.

I'm afraid I am not able to draw sufficiently well to demonstrate the very, very tiny differences in various keris that permit us to assign one classification or another.

Jean 4th January 2018 08:59 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I attach a scanned picture of the kris #2886 in question taken from Jensen's Krisdisk, sorry for the quality.
Regards

Jean 4th January 2018 09:18 AM

(Post cancelled)

Athanase 4th January 2018 10:11 AM

Thank you Jean! ;)
The hilt is also very close to the hilt of my keris.

David 4th January 2018 04:19 PM

Thanks Jean, much appreciated. :)

Jean 5th January 2018 10:29 AM

As you now can see the pics of the 2 krisses (from Athanase and Dresden #2886) I would like to initiate a comparison of the blades for your comments:
Both blades have a similar dapur with the following ricikan: smooth gandik, ada-ada, pejetan, long tikel alis & sraweyan (or short kruwingan), double sogokan, and greneng. Jensen calls this dapur pendawa but this is not correct as the blades have no kembang kacang? I cannot check the reference book Dhapur but this particular dapur is not listed in the EK so probably not a Central Java standard. This is not surprising if the blades do not originate from Central Java.
The differences between the 2 blades which I can notice are as follows:
. The Dresden blade has a thingil on the ganja while Ahanase's kris has a full greneng (double rondha). The ganja of the Dresden kris is not standard for a Banten kris and may have been replaced.
. The pejetan of the Dresden blade is slightly boto adeg (brick standing-up) while the pejetan of Athanase's blade is slightly boto rubuh (brick laying down).
. the Dresden blade is more worn and has less visible pamor than Athanase's kris and it may be older (before 1671).

My question is as follows:
Banten is not a recognized tangguh according to the Central Java classification, it was a trading center so the blades from Banten may have originated from elsewhere in Java (I hardly see any differences between the blades from Banten and Blambangan in the Krisdisk for instance). Accordingly it would not be surprising to find some slight differences in the ricikan of these blades.
If the Dresden blade is classified as from Banten (probably the area where it was purchased), and considering the small differences between the 2 blades, is it justified to reject the Banten classification (or at least origin) for Athanase's blade and what is the proposed alternative, Pajajaran? The Pajajaran kingdom was conquered by Banten in 1580 so it probably no longer existed when this blade was made, and the style of greneng of Athanase's blade (deep and sharp) does not match with the style of Pajajaran greneng (shallow) as shown on Alan's sketch. Also the ganja of Athanase's kris is curved on the back side (sebit rontal?) while the ganja of Pajajaran blades are flat and with parallel faces according to Alan' sketch.
For your consideration and comments. :)
Regards

A. G. Maisey 6th January 2018 07:39 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Jean, thank you very much for your detailed analysis of Dresden 2886 and the Athanase keris, the comparison of these two keris opens the way for a ten thousand word paper, and clearly this Forum is not the place to publish such a lengthy treatise, so I am going to make my comments here as concise as possible, and hope that those comments may make the way in which the Javanese system of keris classification is used just a little bit more easily understood. I have succeeded in restricting these comments to not much over 2000 words, and that means that I have left a lot unsaid. I am happy to try to respond to any specific questions.

Firstly, I frequently use the word "classification" when giving a reference to a keris blade. I use "classification", because that is in fact what we, as collectors do:- we classify. The correct Javanese term is "Tangguh", and although this results in a classification, the word "tangguh" actually should be understood as "opinion", so the "classification" is based upon an "opinion". It is not something that rests upon incontrovertible factors, it rests upon the knowledge, experience and emotional state of the person giving the opinion, and that opinion can vary from person to person. However, although an opinion on specific tangguh can vary, what almost never varies is that a more recent keris will never be identified as an example of an older keris.

This Tangguh System was not developed for use by collectors, it was developed for use by Javanese gentlemen who used the keris as one of their socially acceptable ways in which to store wealth. Although we now tend to think of the Tangguh System as a Javanese system, it actually originated in a very specific part of Jawa. The first mention of it seems to have been in a literary work generated in the Surakarta Karaton, and that mention was not as a system, but simply as a proposed origin for a keris. By the time of the Late Colonial Period a number of Tangguhs were recognised, and in the late Colonial Period a little booklet called "Panangguhing Dhuwung" ("Giving Opinions on Keris Origin", or an alternative translation into BI:- "Penandaan Pemilihan Keris") written by Mas Ngabei Wirasoekadga was published that listed 19 possible tangguhs with sub-tangguhs mostly identified by the name of an empu.

In Solo (Solo is the city in which the Karaton Surakarta is located) during the 1970's and 1980's the major tangguhs applied to keris were:- Jenggala, Pajajaran,Majapahit, Kahuripan, Pengging, Segaluh, Tuban, Pajang, Mataram, Kartosuro, Surakarta, Madura, together with a number of sub-tangguhs.

In the Solo of the 1970's and 1980's if a keris was not able to be aligned with one of the major tangguhs it was simply given as "di luar Jawa" and disregarded. Essentially such a keris was of somewhere between little interest and no interest at all. The attitude was that if it was not Javanese it was irrelevant.

It is important to understand what the idea of "Jawa" means to a Javanese person. It does not mean the Island of Jawa, it means the Land of Jawa. So only keris associated with the Land of Jawa and the history (as recorded in court babads) of the Land of Jawa is of relevance to Javanese values.

Javanese values of historic eras, people and events are strongly rooted in the perceived honour of such historic eras, people and events. For example, the era of Sultan Agung is regarded as highly honourable, thus keris that can be associated with that era are regarded as highly honourable, and accordingly, Mataram Sultan Agung keris have a high value, as compared with keris that are associated with the Kartosuro era, especially Kartosuro under PBII, which is an era deemed to have little or no honour.

Bearing the above in mind, it is easy to understand that the Tangguh System was never intended to classify keris as one tangguh or another, for the amusement of hobbiest collectors. The tangguh system was developed to help Javanese gentlemen, Javanese aristocrats form an opinion in respect of the integrity of a keris as a vehicle for storage of wealth.

However, in the time since the close of the Colonial Era in Jawa, the world has changed, and the Tangguh System and its use and understanding has also changed. In the world in which we now live the idea of "tangguh" is no longer used by Javanese gentlemen to assist in a decision as to whether a particular keris will hold value and protect the money invested in it, rather, the Tangguh System has become a vehicle for social discussion, and above all a marketing tool.

The number of tangguhs now available is limitless. It seems a new tangguh appears every week. In the 1980's, people knowledgeable in the use of the Tangguh System, when faced by a keris that shared features of a couple of recognised tangguhs, would give a mixed opinion. For example, a keris that had both Majapahit and Mataram characteristics would be given as "Majapahit ke Mataram" (Majapahit to Mataram), but it seems that this practice has now disappeared. What we now have is not a Jawacentric system of tangguh, but rather a system of tangguh that tries to be all things to all men. It seems that now we are able to give a tangguh to every keris ever made, if a name for a keris bearing certain specific features does not exist, a new name will be added to the existing list of tangguh names.

Now, Jean has pointed out that that there are discrepancies between some of the characteristics of Athanase's keris, and features that are accepted as being associated with keris that can be given a Pajajaran tangguh. I agree, there are discrepancies, and there will always be discrepancies except in a case where a keris is relatively recent, of extremely high quality and in very good condition.

As Jean has noted, Tangguh Banten is not included in the classic Surakarta list of major tangguh, because of this we do not have reliable indicators to use in the identification of a Banten keris; we do have a few indicators that can help to point us toward a Banten tangguh, but then it usually becomes a matter of using those indicators to disallow a Surakarta tangguh, rather than to verify a Banten tangguh.

The question of when a keris was made is something else that Jean has raised, but this is not really relevant when we decide that a keris can be included in a particular tangguh classification, because what we are doing is basing the tangguh opinion on stylistic features. In the tangguh system of identification that I was taught, there are more or less 12 characteristics that should be evaluated in order to form an opinion, 5 or 6 of those characteristics cannot be evaluated from a photograph, we need the keris in hand to form an opinion. Stylistic features are important, but perhaps even more important are the features that must be evaluated by feel, and in three dimensions.

So, when an opinion of tangguh based on a photograph --- even a very, very good photograph --- is given it must always be understood that the opinion can be subject to change when the keris is handled.

Even though the name of a tangguh is also the name of a particular place or historic era, it must not be understood that the keris was necessarily produced in that place, nor during that historic era. For example, I have made a couple of keris that are classifiable as Surakarta PBX, but they were both made during the 1980's and one was made in Old Toongabbie, NSW, Australia.

We must never automatically assume that just because a keris is classifiable as a tangguh that has the name of an historic era, that keris was actually made during that era, or in that place.

I said earlier that there are always discrepancies between the ideal and the perceived characteristics of a keris, however, when we are looking at a run-of-the-mill keris, there will always be one or two characteristics that we home in on that are able to be aligned to a specific tangguh. We then must ask ourselves the question:-

"if this keris is not tangguh such & such, then what other tangguh can it be?"

if the perceived characteristic is a major characteristic then we need a very heavy weight of opposing characteristics to disallow the tangguh opinion based upon the evidence of the major characteristic.

In the case of Athanase's keris I have given the opinion that this keris is classifiable as Pajajaran. It is absolutely certain that this keris was not made during the Pajajaran era, and it is very far from a textbook example of a Pajajaran keris, but it has one major feature that makes it almost impossible to place into any other tangguh classification, and that is the form and proportions of its blumbangan. This blumbangan is relatively large, and it is wider than it is high.

A Mataram blumbangan is almost invariably square; a Surakarta blumbangan is taller than it is wide; a Majapahit blumbangan is similar to a Surakarta blumbangan; Pajajaran has several sub-tangguhs, and the form and size of the blumbangan can differ in these sub-tangguhs. So, if I see a blumbangan similar to the blumbangan that I believe I can see in Athanase's keris, I ask myself:-

"what tangguh classifications do I have to choose from that have a boto rubuh blumbangan?"

Using the major classical Surakarta tangguh classifications I have only Pajajaran, Pengging, and Segaluh, from which to choose. Segaluh is scarce and has a totally different pawakan (overall visual impression) to that of Athanase's keris; Pengging is even more scarce and even more different. The concave front edge of the gandhik in Athanase's keris is very common in a Pajajaran keris. I am left with Pajajaran. Nothing else will fit.

The gonjo on Athanase's keris I decided to disregard entirely as evidence of tangguh, because I believe close examination would reveal it as a replacement; material, and the deviant ron dha are not associated with the body of the wilah.

Why would a gonjo be replaced on a keris that appears to be in very good condition?

It seems to be unreasonable to claim that erosion of the gonjo was so bad that it needed to be replaced, so why replace it?

There are several reasons to replace a gonjo, one of the most common is where the gonjo of a pusaka keris needs to be incorporated into the manufacture of a new keris. Another common reason can be because a keris needs to be fitted to a new wrongko, this can occur because the form of the keris does not permit a harmonious fit to the new gambar, so a new gonjo is made with the curve of the gonjo made to align with the curve of the gambar.

Now the question arises whether we should qualify the Pajajaran opinion. It would be nice if we could.

Personally, I would like to qualify it as Tuban-Pajajaran, but the gulo milir ( the kruwingan work in the lower part of the blade), as well as the nicely cut sogokan do not permit this. This keris is simply too refined to be given as Tuban, even though it does bear some Tuban characteristics. With the replacement gonjo, the pawakan, but not the garap, have a vaguely Mataram trend, and if the blumbangan was square instead of boto rubuh, I would probably give it as Mataram, but without any sub-classification.

So, after looking at the possibilities that are open to me, all I have left on the table is Pajajaran.

My opinion is that Athanase's keris is classifiable as Tangguh Pajajaran.

But since we are dealing here with opinions, I am open to being persuaded to change my opinion.

Now we need to consider the keris identified as Dresden 2886.

In the published photographs of this keris the blumbangan appears to be boto adeg, but in fact it is not. The blumbangan of Dresden 2886 is square.

As already advised I have handled this keris and I have photographed it, but I am unable to publish a photograph of this keris, however, for those who have eyes to see, the photograph in this post will give an accurate representation of the blumbangan of Dresden 2886. It is a Mataram blumbangan.

Note also the concave face of the gandhik of Dresden 2886, a characteristic often associated with Pajajaran, seldom associated with Mataram.

Banten? I think not.

There are other inaccuracies in the published photos of Dresden 2886 also, I do not know how these occurred or why, however, I suspect that the published photos were produced by a professional photographer, and the photographer perhaps thought that a little bit of artistic improvement might be desirable in the finished product.

Herewith my notes made with Dresden 2886 in my hand:-

"L5. Blumbangan is M'ram but body cross section is rotan, shallow kruwingan in the gulo milir, greneng exists but the ron dha nunut is not a recognised form (possibility ron dha nunut damaged by erosion), WW pamor is not fine. Red & black polychrome demon, mendak West Jawa form, wrongko terusan, red & gilt, wrongko original to wilah, gonjo stands proud."

If the notes are read, and the photo is understood, I believe it will be very easy to understand why I can see no real relationship between Athanase's keris and Dresden 2886.

If I compare one keris to another, I need the two keris being compared to be of the same type, not just vaguely similar.

When we use Mr. Jensen as a source of information we need to be very careful of his classifications. He originated a system of keris classification that has the possibility of working quite well for a collector of keris who understands next to nothing about the Javanese belief systems that surround the keris and that form the foundation for a Javanese understanding of the keris. Mr. Jensen was a dedicated collector of the keris, and I have a great deal of respect for his efforts in making information on early keris available to collectors and students of the keris, but not everything that he published can be accepted as accurate.

Jean 6th January 2018 09:17 AM

Hello Alan,
Thank you for your very detailed and accurate post, a precious reference about the tangguh system and illustrating the extreme difficulty to appraise a kris for a non-expert collector!
I would just like to add that the Dresden kris 2886 is deemed to have been collected in Banten from historical records but not necessarily made there indeed.
Regards

A. G. Maisey 6th January 2018 10:23 AM

Jean, I have no doubt at all that Dresden 2886 was collected in Banten, but where it was collected, when it was collected, is really of no interest to me at all.

If it had been collected in New York City in 2017, my comments would be exactly the same.

EDIT

that sounds brusque. sorry.

What I mean is that if I am attempting to give a tangguh on a keris, I do not consider where it has come from, or how long ago it was collected, or even what sort of dress it is in. If I did any of those things it would defeat the purpose.

The opinion of classification should depend on the observed factors, not the information from outside factors:- take just the blade, look at it, feel it, if necessary keep it around you for a few days, but ignore what people or circumstances want to tell you.

David 6th January 2018 07:46 PM

Thank you for your detailed response Alan. I believe that you need to write that 10,000 word treatise and publish it in every sector of the keris collecting world. Not that it would make much difference i suppose. Times change and attitudes and ideas change with them i suppose.
Still, as i read through your response it was clear to me that it contains very little that you or others have not made clear in this forum many times over the years. Yet somehow it seems that it is information that still needs to be repeated again and again as more and more new collectors come into the keris world and latch onto these newer interpretations of the meaning of tangguh, its limitations and intents and purposes. Perhaps it is futile to resist these changes of definition and application and my attitudes about this are hopelessly idealistic, but i fear that as the keris collecting world continues to "evolve" we are in danger of losing certain essential "truths" about the keris through the institutionalization of the latest tends and ideas. :shrug:


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:29 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.