2 Keris Panjang
A keris panjang has been on my list for a while, and I have recently acquired not one but two! The shorter (and frankly better maintained) one came from a fellow forum member, the longer one came from a epray.
The longer one has the classic "comma" shaped ricikans element. I've removed a significant amount of rust from the blade (using soap, water, wd40, lime juice, and "elbow grease"). It's not perfect, but you should have seen it when I got it :cool:. The urikan has a crack and the place where the sampir meets the gambar has some damage. I'm not quite sure how to address this (perhaps a metal sleeve covering the area?). The hilt cup I suspect is brass, but kind of looks like it might be silver. I suspect this one may be the older of the two, but that's just a guess. The seller claimed it was over 100 years old and came from a collectors estate, but we all know how epray sellers are. I suspect the blade may be older than the rest, but this is again a guess.
The shorter one has a uniformly dark blade, but the ganja shows pamor. I understand this is fairly common for this type of keris. The blade length is right in the middle between anak alang and panjang, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and call it panjang. Due largely to it's long and slender shape, but fiance jokes that it looks like something a villain from the Japanese cartoon "Sailor Moon" would use.
Am I correct in thinking that these would both have come from one side of the other of the Riau strait, from an ethnically Malay population? Is there anyway to estimate the age of these?
Any other thoughts or comments?
Just few comments:
. The 2 blades are original and old, the longer one would deserve a better cleaning, by soaking it for 24 h in undiluted vinegar (in a closed container for avoiding evaporation of the acetic acid) and regular brushings you will fully get rid of the rust but it may look too shiny, then a light warangan treatment would uniformally tarnish it if required. From the pics I would leave the shorter blade in its original condition.
. I think that the longer blade is from Sumatra Riau and the shorter one maybe from Malaysia but I am not sure.
. The 2 hilts look recently made.
. Regarding the gap at the scabbard neck joint, I would try to make a wooden or horn sleeve, or fill with putty and cover by a silver sleeve..
In my opinion the sheath and hilt of both keris are Peninsular Malaysia due to the shape (thicker sampir and a bit rounded shaft - North-East coast Malaysia, Terengganu, Kelantan and Southern Thailand style) and type of wood being used - kenaung if I'm not mistaken. The wood identified by the patterns in the wood. The sampir and hilt of shorter keris is probably from kemuning. It also can have patterns. How to describe the difference in detail, I have no idea. I think both actually are probably of the same species. To avoid lengthy discussions on the type of wood, it is safe just say both keris sampir and hilt are from kemuning.
The shorter keris hilt type I think is called Tapak Kuda (Horse's hoof). I forgot the name of the other hilt, I want to say Tangkai Labu (Pumpkin stem), but I think nobody will blame you if you say it is a variant of Tapak Kuda hilt.
The longer keris use a pendongkok of the gelugor type mainly used in Terengganu region. Material is probably brass with higher nickel content. Below is a photo of a gelugor fruit. There's a possibility that both keris blades are from Malaysia, but I am not sure.
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