Keris forum moderator
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: The Great Midwest
Fearn i think that perhaps you are missing the point here. Certainly many collectors at some point in time sell off parts of their collections, either because they are trading up, need a little disposable cash or have just become bored with a particular item. I see nothing wrong with that and if such is the case we have the swap forum in which to facilitate those transactions. But this is first and foremost a forum for collectors to discuss and learn from one another through the sharing of information and, if we choose, images of our various collections. It is not a marketplace.
The problem we are discussing here is not collectors who sell parts off their collections. It is dealers who become members here for the sole purpose of selling keris. You may not be fully aware of them since keris is not you main interest of collection, but it is very clear to those of us who spend most of our time on this side of the forum boards and who mainly collect keris.
As for reworking keris, the question at hand is indeed a matter of fraud. When a dealer presents a composite keris in the forum with the hopes of attracting a buyer and makes no effort whatsoever to inform members what parts are new, used, aged or whatever the object is indeed to deceive through the act of omission. Sometimes when pressed for info the dealer will even go so far as to suggest something like "well, i don't know, but people have told me the blade is 17th century" when it is clear to knowledgeable members that it is more likely a contemporary aged piece. Properly staining a keris is not what we are talking about here or even fixing fittings. That is restoration. But putting a newly carved (but aged to look old) ivory hilt on and old blade and trying to pass it off as an original old hilt is a deception. Adding new fittings on to an old sheath and trying to pass that sheath off as original is a deception. Calling someone out on such a deception, especially based solely of photos, is not always all that easy.
Bottom line, if you are a collector who needs some extra cash take it to the swap. Don't post it first on the main forum trying to lure buyers. If you posted it last year and are now trying to sell it that is another issue. It is not the kind of sales that we are discussing here at the moment.