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Old 28th June 2017, 11:29 PM   #17
A. G. Maisey
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,542
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Yes Alexis, David is absolutely correct, the scabbard you have shown a pic of is already a non-traditional form.

I personally feel that there is nothing really wrong with modern interpretations of the old forms, this has happened all throughout keris history, and in fact it is probably one of the reasons for the extremely long time that the keris as an object form has been around so long:- the form and its interpretation changes to suit the needs of the current environment.

Perhaps the important thing is that we recognise what it is that we're looking at and categorise it accordingly. If we regard this rather exuberant scabbard form as a current era, artistic enhancement that uses the keris form as a canvas and then paints upon it, then we have a legitimate object.

It is a similar thing to what happened with the arch-typical Balinese "souvenir keris". These began to appear --- as near as I can work out --- some time during the 1960's. The early ones used old blades, and the scabbard was carved from black ebony, often the carving was of a very high standard. These older "souvenir" keris have now become collectable in their own right, and it is probably correct to say that no representative keris collection that includes Balinese keris is complete without an example of one of these "souvenir" keris.

But as we moved into the 1970's and then the 1980's the quality of these keris fell through the floor, and the later ones are not much good at all.

The point to this rather long comment is this:- if we are going to focus our collecting on current production, non-traditional types of keris, then what we are collecting is modern art, using the keris as a canvas. In this case we need to apply the same standards as are applied by any collector of modern art in selecting what is collectable and what is not collectable.

Those standards embrace basically two things:- form and quality of execution and materials.

Form can be a subjective judgement.

Understanding of quality needs to be learnt.
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