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Old 9th June 2010, 12:25 PM   #1
Neo
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Default Need example of Pamors: Meteor, Luwu, and modern Nickel

Hello Everyone

Hope it's a good day according to Javanese Calendar to ask about pamor

A friend told me that one critical factor in recognizing an old keris from a new one (well, at least from the material perspective) is by looking at the pamor - old materials will have uneven shades of darker and brighter regions, indicating impurities in the pamor material. Nice info. The problem is I haven't seen adequate examples.

I would greatly appreciate if anyone could post images contrasting the differences between the pamors - meteorite, luwu, and modern nickel.

Many thanks for your time.
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Old 9th June 2010, 12:56 PM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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Its actually a wee bit more complicated than that, Neo.

The most common old type of pamor is high phosphoric iron, or "white iron". This gives a rather subdued tone in greys to a pamor.

Once you move from this to the various other materials used in pamor it becomes somewhat more difficult to differentiate by sight alone.

Pamor Luwu owes its contrasting qualities to nickel content, and that nickel content can cover a pretty broad range, so if you get some Luwu with high nickel content, it doesn't look a whole lot different to European nickel.

With meteoritic pamor it depends on how its made, as to how it looks, and again, its not easy to judge from just looking at it --- we need to feel it.

Then we have pamor that used Dutch coins as the contrasting material, and as with meteoritic pamor, you really need to feel the material to have some idea of what it might be.

I've only mentioned the simple, easy stuff above. It can get a whole lot more difficult when you have pamor that has been worked in non-standard ways, or where some unusual material has been used.

I'm talking about sight judgement in the physical presence of the blade, not sight judgement from photos, and most certainly not sight judgement from images on a computer screen.
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Old 9th June 2010, 02:35 PM   #3
Neo
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Thank you for the reply, Mr. Maisey.

By "feel it", did you mean using the finger to run through the pamor to get the physical sense of the texture? Or were you referring to the "feel" as in "guoyo"?

I would like to know a lot more about "pamor that has been worked in non-standard ways", but I guess that's the part where I need to have people physically show me many examples of such things ...

My dream is to have a decent collection of Majapahit or other tangguh sepuh kerises (in addition to the finely made new ones), but there are lots of fakes out there and I have *a lot* to learn. Looks like it's going to be a long, challenging journey ... I would greatly appreciate pointers and advices about what to do to develop my keris discrimination skills - museums to visit, books to read, people to meet, etc. So far I have the following books: Bambang Harsrinuksmo's encyclopedia, Pak Haryono's book, and soon-to-come, the Keris For the World exhibition book. It would be far simpler if there is such a thing as "wesi aji course" complete with lab and case studies from each tangguh ... If they have it for wines, they should also have it for kerises!!

Well, enough complaining.. I will be grateful for suggestions of a "course plan" or "self study syllabus" to improve my keris skills
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Old 9th June 2010, 02:43 PM   #4
Rick
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Wink

Of course there are a lot more oenophiles(sp?) than there are kerisophiles .

Then again, that's a good thing .

Hopefully we can help you Neo .
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Old 9th June 2010, 08:35 PM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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By feel, I mean touching the blade with your fingers.

Some pamors have a greasy feel, others have a very slightly prickly feel, with others you can feel the topography --- they all feel different, so you combine how it looks with how it feels. But it can still be extremely difficult to be sure about pamor material.

There is really only one way to learn keris, and that is to have somebody with immense knowledge and patience, together with adequate physical examples, teach you. This is simply not available to everybody, so the knowledge we gain then needs to be of a different type, and that is gained by intelligent collection and personal study over an extended period of time.

Probably the most important thing for anybody to learn is how to identify quality in a keris, and you do not really need to be able to play the tangguh game to do that.

On "non standard ways", Ill see if I can post a couple of pics that may clarify, within a day or so.

In the mean time, you may care to have a look at the old "good keris" thread in the archives of this Forum.
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Old 10th June 2010, 06:27 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.

Rick: Yes, indeed it is something to be grateful about

Mr. Maisey: "In the mean time, you may care to have a look at the old "good keris" thread in the archives of this Forum". That's exactly what I've been doing. I guess thoroughly understanding the ricikan and dhapur characteristics from the books will make it easier to absorb new info when I get the opportunity to physically encounter kerises.

All these desire to learn about tangguh is mostly because I really hate to get "pretenders". I am happy enough to know that the keris is authentic and so for now, all I'd like get out of the "tangguh game" is to be confident to a certain degree about the approximate *ERA* the kris was from.

Well, some tangguh skill will also enable me to better enjoy exhibitions like "Kris for the World" that I just attended ... It was baffling for me to see some large kelengan krisses that look like they were just made couple decades ago being labeled as "Singosari" by the judges.

I'm looking forward to your info about "non standard ways", if you can find it.
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