Join Date: May 2006
I collaborated closely with Prof. Jerzy Piaskowski for a number of years, about 15 years I think.
Prof. Piaskowski was a noted historical metallurgist and he carried out intensive laboratory investigation of keris and the gonjos of keris. His work was purely academic and not at all the sort of thing we would stumble across in material written for weapons collectors.
I discussed with Jerzy this matter of the detection of meteoritic material in keris several times during the time we were assisting one another.
Prof Piaskowski's opinion was that it was not possible to know with any certainty if material that had been through the forge welding process would have had a meteoritic source.
Further, when meteoritic material did become available to the rulers of Central Jawa towards the end of the 18th century, and was eventually found to be able to be forged and used in practical implements, the availability of this material was limited to people who had a close association with the Surakarta Karaton.
However, apart from that, small amounts of meteoritic material did come on to the market in Central Jawa by way of casual finds by people living in the area where the meteor fell; when it fell it broke apart, and small fragments were spread over a wide area.
When meteoritic material did come on to the market it was very expensive, being very expensive it was not the sort of thing that might be trusted to a village smith, it would have been given to maker capable of producing a top quality product.We cannot expect to find meteoritic material in anything other than keris of exceptional quality.
I own two items that are able to be attributed to Empu Jayasukadgo. Both these items are of very high quality, both display the material characteristics that are traditionally associated with meteoritic material.
I recently cleaned, stained and dressed a keris for a gentleman living in the USA. This keris was also attributable to Jayasukadgo, and also had material that had the same characteristics as the items I have just mentioned.
About 25 years ago I was involved in the making of a keris that used meteoritic material in its pamor, the keris was made by a very talented craftsman in Solo, I forged, welded, cleaned the meteoritic pamor material that was used in this keris. The pamor of this keris displays the characteristics traditionally associated with meteoritic pamor.
There has been quite a lot of investigative work done on pamor and on the materials used in keris, a little bit of time asking Dr. Google some well framed questions will produce a lot of information.