Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Detlef, I also like Roland's approach to restoration of this --- and I seem to recall, other --- SE Asian blades. It is a purely European approach, not the approach that we would expect to see from SE Asia itself.
Certainly in Indonesia, and I believe in some other SE Asian countries, the way that this blade would have restored would have been to dismount it, regularise the surface and profile and then clean with a mild acid. The exception to this would have been Bali, where the approach would have been very similar to the approach that Roland used.
There are pros and cons for each method, and my personal opinion is that in most cases I would prefer to use the European approach, however I seldom do use this approach simply because it is currently culturally incorrect.
I have said "--- currently culturally incorrect." I have used the word "current" because I have believed for a very long time, that prior to the decline and fall of the old Hindu-Buddhist Javanese political entities, Javanese blades would have been been cleaned in the way that Balinese blades are still traditionally cleaned, and that is by polishing with wet sand and powdered limestone. I am of the opinion that the acid cleaning of blades was introduced by Islam as a part of the strategy to remove the old Javanese socio-religious associations with the keris in particular, and all tosan aji in a broader sense.