Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Thank you Michel for advising us of your reasoning process used in estimation of age of Madura keris hilts.
I believe it is reasonable to assume that following the alignment of Madurese rulers with Dutch interests, symbols associated with the Dutch began to appear in Madurese keris dress and other Madurese ornamentation. A nominal date of 1825 is probably reasonable for the commencement of this practice.
However, although the presence of symbols associated with the Dutch may be able to be used to support an estimate of production time after 1825, the absence of such symbols cannot be used to support a production time prior to 1825.
The relationship between the royal houses of Surakarta and Suminep is well documented, and the speculation that the presence of a symbol on this hilt, that appears to be the sun, could represent such relationship is interesting. My personal opinion is that when we indulge in such speculation it is probably advisable to provide some evidence in support of the idea. The field of keris study is riddled with good ideas, and very often, these good ideas tend to become accepted fact, but "accepted fact" lacking any evidence in support of it.
It is very dangerous to hypothesize in the absence of evidence or logical argument, and most especially in respect of a culture and time that differs from our own.
Yes i do agree with your point that the absence of these indicators is not a garuantee tht the age of a hilt is older than 1825. But that is a general thing with indicators, its a indication of posibility. That combined with other indicators like material, other paterns, the state of the material, sometimes even a feeling and so on, can give a good impression. Maybe in some times can give some "proof" or suport that it must be of certain age, atleast give a good estimation. Iff not so, how can it be that museums or other experts can give a clear age to a hilt or blade or other material? I personaly dont think that carbon dating is used on all things in collections of museums. Panting can be indentified and given a age by the painter.. his time of life, style in a erra of his live.. But it cant ben done with hilts.. Maybe you can suport us ith some info about how its been done, or about some other indicators. My knowledge on this is still in my eyes limited..and always willing to learn and know more.
About the suporting info for the sun on Danny's hilt. One of the experienced members of the Dutch keris study group have told us. I do have confidence that he does have done reseach and got suporting info of this. But i have posted it as a posibility, not as a statement or fact. I do apreciate and agree with your caution to not see a post of this as a fact. but if i or others dont post there posibilitys it would be difficult to get a good view and later to result of fact. That is why forums do exist, even in the old times. To get a agreement of accepted truth, by reasoning and discusion. I wil try to ask the person iff he would like to give me and all people here some more info on this. Maybe posted by me, or him self.
Ps link to hilt with also a sun. Link