Join Date: May 2006
All collectors love perfection.
I think that is probably a reasonably correct comment. It doesn't only apply to keris, nor only to edged weapons in general, but to all sorts of collectables --- coins, sea shells, paper weights --- and so on.
But in the case of keris, I am not at all certain that perfection of fit and finish is really a desirable objective. Many years ago I used to be certain that every keris should be a perfect example of fit & finish, and that art should shine through at all costs.
Maybe sometimes this might be desirable. Maybe. But many years of close observation of keris wear and use in keris bearing societies has tended to modify the obsessions of my early collecting years so that I now feel that if a complete keris has been a coherent entity for a reasonably long period of time, it is probably a more sympathetic approach to leave as found and not impose my ideas upon the ideas of previous owners.
Of course, this approach should not be maintained where a keris is found in less than acceptable condition, the first consideration should always be for long term conservation.