Join Date: May 2006
Yes David, you have identified the problem exactly:-
what can be done?
none of us have a crystal ball so that we can identify with certainty the keris presented "for comment" that are destined to offered in the immediate future for sale.
yes, our members here can, to a degree, protect themselves by using a little bit of caution, but there are many keris collectors in the world who do not belong to, and who very seldom look at our discussions. A lot of these people are being regularly taken advantage of by unethical dealers. I know this with certainty because not one week would pass without contact from somebody seeking an opinion on something he has just purchased, or is considering purchase of from a dealer somewhere on the other side of the world. Sometimes the sales blurb that goes with the keris offered for sale includes comments taken from Forum discussions.
Fearn, I can understand your point of view. There can be no argument that the commercial aspects of collection, including keris collection, are important. With the keris we are dealing with something that is to many of us an investment vehicle, so maybe it is perfectly legitimate to discuss value and the things that determine that value.
But as I understand it, this was not one of the prime objectives of our Keris Warung Kopi when it was set up. I believe that we were trying to create a place for open discussion and encouragement of study of the keris. Once the mighty $$$$ gets a foothold, it tends to pollute everything else.
I will admit, my views of this whole matter are a little slanted.
I started to buy keris 50 odd years ago, and for 40 odd years I have been buying from Indonesian dealers.
The volume that I buy effectively makes me a part of the Indonesian keris trade.
I have an intimate knowledge of the way in which this trade works.
I also have an interest in goldfish.
I makes me feel very uncomfortable when I see goldfish swimming in the same pond with sharks.
Particularly when the goldfish cannot see the sharks.
However, I do think that this matter is one that we should all express an opinion on, if we have one.
Any more opinions out there?