Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Here are my initial thoughts:-
Estimate value:- ie, what is a fair price for a keris?
-Yes, but not the focus of this forum. My family were old fashioned traders. Value is a compulsive habit and understood to be realativistic.
Estimate age:- ie, when was the blade made, when were other components made ?
-Yes and yes.
Construction:- ie, how was the blade made, how were other components made?
-Yes and yes.
Reasons for motifs:- ie, cultural and societal significance of design & ornamental motifs used in the keris?
-Yes. The mixture of art, ascetics and narrative the artist wanted to show, and purpose both ergonomics and supernatural appeal. I saw a book on Hindu iconography you listed and I have been wanting to read Elgood's book on Hindu ritual.
As a cultural icon:- probably links back to motifs, both can probably be considered together
Societal differentiation & background:- this involves anthropological & sociological study.
-Yes it will. Lots.
Use as a weapon:- this covers a very broad field and involves a lot of opinion & very little fact, Don Draeger might be the place to start, but the enquiry should really be narrowed down to precisely what is being sought
-IDK martial arts are a very nebulous subject for me. I'm not sure I will ever have much of a grip on it.
Classification:- if classification for a collector based in the modern world outside S.E. Asia, Jean Greffioz' recent book is hard to go past. If classification in a different sense, tighter specification is needed.
-What do you use as your basis for classification or do you use several systems in parallel?
Only texts in English
-I can read Spanish at a slower pace.
If my understanding of your needs is incorrect in any way, or needs to be expanded, please amend my rough outline above.
When we can nail down exactly what you need I can probably make some recommendations, and I believe other of our regular contributors could probably add to what I might recommend.