Your comment that "Hulu Keris" is not a reference-book for hilts
has me quite intrigued.
If the book "Ragam Hulu Keris" by Suhartono Rahardjo is not a reference book for keris hilts, perhaps you would be so kind as to let us know how we are to regard this book?
I am also intrigued by your statement regarding the "Ragam Hulu Keris" and in addition to the question posted by A.G. Maisey would like to know the following.
Alan G. Maisey & Naga Sasra:
I don't think that this is the right place to start a discussion about reference literature - on the other hand this is the second time in a short while somebody is searching for informations for a friend or a friend of a friend who is searching for answers but finally does not want to open his source - so it might be ok. once.
I am not a teacher and I also don't want to be one. Finally everybody has to decide himselve what he views as a reference-book. Me for myself I adjust a certain demand to a book handled as a reference work. A reference book should contain useful facts, it should be a book you can refer for authoritative facts. It should be a book of facts which you look at to discover particular information and its cause is that the information is quickly found if needed. (For more please google).
Under this aspect I
cannot accept HULU KERIS as a reference book because of the lack of information. The lack that there isn't any book else is no criterion to take whatever is as a reference book. For me
HULU KERIS is just an introductional overview of some ragam-ragam hulu keris
to give an impression how many different forms there are and to which region they might be attributed to.
The book from Zonnefeld about the Traditional Weapons Of The Indonesian Archipelago might be a a sample of how a reference book should look like although I am missing here the direct hints at every article to the sources of the information. But its a way a reference book about hilts could be done.
Another good example for good research and serious information but limited to the Malayan Peninsular is the part of the hilts in "SPIRIT OF WOOD".
Unfortunately a book about keris hilts covering the whole indonesian archipelago I also don't know - it would be an interesting challange for a serious field research but means investing a lot of money and time.
So we are in the actual situation that people searching for special informations have to do a lot of work themselves and with the risk not to receive what they are looking for - but this is what the engagement into the keris involves. You cannot just open a book or ask the forum and get the information, you have to invest energy - one's own initiative is requested.
Sooner or later hopefully somebody will do such above described serious and scientifically based researches and then possibly the result will be a reference book about keris hilts over the whole indonesian archipelago. At the present situation I don't see a global work or reference book about keris hilts.
Finally, back to the HULU KERIS book, I would like to come to an end with a request to Alan G. Maisey and Naga Sasra.
If you go back in your collection life - let's say to the point you were collecting for 5 years. You come to Solo and somebody offers you a hilt - let's say the solonese variation of the on Bali so-called Balu Mekabun hilt. You ask the person,. "what does this style represent?" and you get the answer: "it represents an abstract human figure!" Would you have been satisfied with this answer?