Join Date: May 2006
Yes Fearn, I agree that this is a difficult matter to address.
Its not just the marketing aspect of this issue, but the appraisals and opinions, either from a single knowledgeable individual, or from a group of people.
Going back a long time, maybe 6 or 7 years, an opinion I gave of a keris buda was edited and then used by the seller to extract a very high price from an unknowledgeable person. The editing consisted of removing my caveats. As it turned out the buyer bought a recent production that had been very artfully aged. It was something that could correctly be called a forgery, and this is a term I am very, very careful with in respect of keris.I forget if my opinion was given on this Forum, or whether I might have given it somewhere else, but I remember very clearly the result.
I think David has probably shown the way to address this situation, and if his guidelines are followed perhaps we will see an end to this objectionable practice of dealers obtaining opinions and appraisals and then using those in their sales pitch.
David's suggestion of a "nice keris" comment I read as a throwaway line --- just a meaningless comment that carries no weight at all. However, I do agree with both you and Naga Sastra that "nice keris" could easily become "highly commended by the knowledgeable members of Keris Warung Kopi". Maybe where there is a suspicion that something less than legitimate is happening, complete silence might be the answer.
Your suggestion of a definition for a "nice keris" is something that is absolutely impossible to provide.
There is a classic thread somewhere about what a "good keris" is. It went on forever, attracted an impossible number of posts, and eventually reached no conclusion.
The keris is totally unlike any other edged weapon and formulating standards so that we can say that something is either wonderful or worthless is way beyond my ability.
It is not at all difficult to appraise each individual component of a keris, but to provide the information to do this in a canned format is again not possible. There is simply far too great a body of knowledge required to put it all down on paper as a guide.
Perhaps the answer is to trust in the wisdom and vigilance of our moderators.