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Old 16th July 2010, 09:16 AM   #1
Maurice
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Default Moro: Kalis Seko with old restoration!

Just a few days ago I received this old kris.
The scabbard consists of two pieces of wood.
The lower part and the crosspiece.
The crosspiece is made of banati wood (also the pommel). The bottom part of the scabbard is different wood (probably to lower the costs at that time).

Did you ever see a kind of such crosspiece's restoration?
There are two "old" holes in the crosspiece, and the crosspiece is attached with some kind of rope (maybe latter?) to the bottom part of the scabbard, wounded with ratan.
There is some tolerance between the two connected parts, but the blade still fits perfectly!

The break off is old, cause there is the same dark patina as the rest of the banati crosspiece.

By the way, I made the images just as it came.
I try to clean and etch the blade in short time if I find a little time, and than I will post additional images here after cleaning.
Also the wood still needs a treatment with antique wax.

Kind Regards,
Maurice
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Old 16th July 2010, 04:01 PM   #2
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Hello, congrats for your new find!

I think I've seen similar crosspiece restoration the other day on one of internet auction site but the rattan wrap is horizontal-to keep both halves of the crosspiece together.

I think I see two smaller holes on the first, second and last picture, that ones on the meeting point of the cross piece and the bottom of the taguban. If that is right, it might be similar way with the technique found in older Javanese scabbard/I also found it once on Bugis sheath. They inserted two wooden pin each sides to join the crosspiece with the vertical part. This way it is very pronounce to movement along with wear/time and no wonder it cracked (mostly I've seen using this technique are already movable, crack or broken)

In case you decided to change the crosspiece, I think the (good quality) material is still obtainable in Malaysia ask for kayu kemuning (orange jasmine?) as the local name. Or maybe replacing (patching) the missing piece is another option. On the first choice, you can always keep the original crosspiece. But keeping it as it is now would be as good.
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Old 16th July 2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunggulametung

but the rattan wrap is horizontal-to keep both halves of the crosspiece together.
Yep that is correct. But the rope that is attached at the crosspiece is also knotted at the ratan. When looking at the patina these ratan wrap had also been at the tip of the scabbard, but it is lost. That is something I will replace in future to make it a more firm scabbard instead of two loose pieces...


Quote:
Originally Posted by tunggulametung

I think I see two smaller holes on the first, second and last picture, that ones on the meeting point of the cross piece and the bottom of the taguban. If that is right, it might be similar way with the technique found in older Javanese scabbard/I also found it once on Bugis sheath. They inserted two wooden pin each sides to join the crosspiece with the vertical part. This way it is very pronounce to movement along with wear/time and no wonder it cracked (mostly I've seen using this technique are already movable, crack or broken).
Yes I noticed those holes also. It could be as you said, but it also could be that this was a first (failed) try to attach the crosspiece to the vertically part of the scabbard, because it was broken at the other side (where the biggest part is missing).....Maybe somebody on the forum can tell us if the moro's used these kind of pegs to attach the crosspiece to the second wooden part...


Quote:
Originally Posted by tunggulametung
In case you decided to change the crosspiece, I think the (good quality) material is still obtainable in Malaysia ask for kayu kemuning (orange jasmine?) as the local name. Or maybe replacing (patching) the missing piece is another option. On the first choice, you can always keep the original crosspiece. But keeping it as it is now would be as good.
Thank you for your information, but changing the crosspiece is no option to me..I think also patching is not what i am going to do. Maybe I use some ratan to hide it or some moro fabric, cause I like the restoration and the old patina which I don't want to interfere with....Than it can always be taken away to see how it came along.. (yes I know, I am a weird collector when it comes to restorations)

Kind Regards,
Maurice
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Old 17th July 2010, 01:33 AM   #4
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Could we please see the blade, Maurice ?

I also have a Jawa wrongko, old; that is attached to the gandar with wood pins .

If the two strings were made taut, then wrapped tightly with rattan right over the joint and up onto the crosspiece; the pressure would draw the two pieces firmly together; IMO .

Almost like Baca baca .
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Old 17th July 2010, 02:18 AM   #5
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Hello Maurice,

Congrats, neat find! Looks like a southern Sulu piece to me - interesting chubby blade with really nice scabbard.

Quote:
The crosspiece is made of banati wood (also the pommel). The bottom part of the scabbard is different wood (probably to lower the costs at that time).

It's common to utilize a lighter and more durable wood for the stem of a scabbard - bunti is too fragile and heavy to do the whole scabbard from.

Quote:
There are two "old" holes in the crosspiece, and the crosspiece is attached with some kind of rope (maybe latter?) to the bottom part of the scabbard, wounded with ratan.

This looks like an old make-shift repair to me to safe the precious crosspiece - not sure this is Moro work though. BTW, are that iron nails where the lighter fiber/rattan thread is attached to? I'm wondering why this patinated differently than the hurried rattan binding just below (which should be of the same age). Is there any wear which would suggest that this piece saw continued usage after the repair rather than immediately finding its way into a colonial collection?

I'd posit that the scabbard once had silver bands at the junction as well as the foot which got removed/salvaged after the break. I'd also guess that there once was a silver ferrule at the base of the hilt...

Quote:
I try to clean and etch the blade in short time if I find a little time, and than I will post additional images here after cleaning.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to seeing more details of the unusual blade! Its short length and chubby proportions make me wonder wether this could have been a boy's ceremonial kris...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 17th July 2010, 02:38 AM   #6
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Hello Maurice,

Quote:
Yes I noticed those holes also. It could be as you said, but it also could be that this was a first (failed) try to attach the crosspiece to the vertically part of the scabbard, because it was broken at the other side (where the biggest part is missing).....Maybe somebody on the forum can tell us if the moro's used these kind of pegs to attach the crosspiece to the second wooden part...

Yup, wooden pegs are not uncommon to fix the crosspiece to the stem (also seen in other keris as Rick noted). These were most likely original and already present before the fatal break as shown by the less severly affected side.

Quote:
Thank you for your information, but changing the crosspiece is no option to me..

Sure, that's too nice!

Quote:
I think also patching is not what i am going to do. Maybe I use some ratan to hide it or some moro fabric, cause I like the restoration and the old patina which I don't want to interfere with....

I do have mixed feelings regarding restoring this piece. If the old repair can be shown to be non-genuine, I could well imagine removing all the rattan and fiber, patching the crosspiece and covering all up with a nice band of silver (and also adding another at the foot of the scabbard and possibly a ferrule). If not, I'd prefer to keep it as it is now (except for a silver band at the foot of the scabbard) rather than trying to cover any of the break as well as repair work...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 17th July 2010, 03:07 AM   #7
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Kai is on target - good responses.

I agree that it is Sulu, etc. I do think the rope etc is later.

The silver band at the end - maybe, maybe not, though it is harder for me to see the patina well enough to tell for sure. These scabbards sometimes did and did not have silver band(s) at the bottom. If it did, it would also most likely have one under the crosspiece as well.
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Old 17th July 2010, 09:41 AM   #8
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Default Image of the gangya area!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Could we please see the blade, Maurice ?
Rick, here an image of the gangya part. Unfortunately this is the only image of the blade I have available at the moment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick

If the two strings were made taut, then wrapped tightly with rattan right over the joint and up onto the crosspiece; the pressure would draw the two pieces firmly together; IMO .

Almost like Baca baca .
It is not as tightly wrapped as it might look.
It is probably done latter, a long time after the actual crosspiece broke off considering the patina (it might be restored like it was the first time?)
If the restoration is moro or not, I have no idea..
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Old 17th July 2010, 09:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai

Congrats, neat find! Looks like a southern Sulu piece to me - interesting chubby blade with really nice scabbard.
Thanks!
I think this one is a good match to my captain Chimmo budiak!


Quote:
Originally Posted by kai

This looks like an old make-shift repair to me to safe the precious crosspiece - not sure this is Moro work though. BTW, are that iron nails where the lighter fiber/rattan thread is attached to? I'm wondering why this patinated differently than the hurried rattan binding just below (which should be of the same age). Is there any wear which would suggest that this piece saw continued usage after the repair rather than immediately finding its way into a colonial collection?
You observed well Kai. Those are iron nails, and the "lighter" fiber is being put on strain by these nails.
The different patination is easy to explain. It is very different material which is not easily seen on the images I guess.
It is a kind of very thin fiber threads, all put together and plaided to achieve one bigger fiber cord.
There is no clearly visibale wear which suggests the use after the restoration...So i guess it indeed might be latter. However the two holes in the crosspiece are much older, considering the patination and dirt which is in it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I'm looking forward to seeing more details of the unusual blade! Its short length and chubby proportions make me wonder wether this could have been a boy's ceremonial kris...
I also felt it different with that "chubby" blade.
However I guess it would be to heavy/large for a boy's ceremonial kris?
IMO this was not used as ceremonial kris, concerning the patina, wear and damages all over the piece...
The kris is almost 65 cm long. The blade only is 47 cm long.

Ofcourse after cleaning and etching, I will post some images of the whole blade.

Kind Regards,
Maurice
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Old 17th July 2010, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Yup, wooden pegs are not uncommon to fix the crosspiece to the stem (also seen in other keris as Rick noted). These were most likely original and already present before the fatal break as shown by the less severly affected side.
Thanks, I will copy-paste this in my brain..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I do have mixed feelings regarding restoring this piece. If the old repair can be shown to be non-genuine, I could well imagine removing all the rattan and fiber, patching the crosspiece and covering all up with a nice band of silver (and also adding another at the foot of the scabbard and possibly a ferrule). If not, I'd prefer to keep it as it is now (except for a silver band at the foot of the scabbard) rather than trying to cover any of the break as well as repair work...


Ofcourse you are right. If this restoration appears not to be moro work, I would considering patching and make a band around the patch and also just above the thicker scabbardtip.
Therefore my post, I try to figure out if this could be moro or the work of some kind of hobbyist..
After discussing this here with you guys, it would probably be an easier decission for me to make!

About the silverwork....Just below the cacatua pommel there is a "copper" plate as decoration, which has old patina. I guess this material could be used as ferrule instead of silver??

Kind Regards,
Maurice
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Old 17th July 2010, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I agree that it is Sulu, etc. I do think the rope etc is later.
Thank you Jose. But could this be a "done over and over and over" restoration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
The silver band at the end - maybe, maybe not, though it is harder for me to see the patina well enough to tell for sure. These scabbards sometimes did and did not have silver band(s) at the bottom. If it did, it would also most likely have one under the crosspiece as well.
My opinion is that it was or ratan, or brass/copper, considering the metal used between the handle and the pommel. If the scabbard would have silver bands, I guess they would also use silver between the handle and the pommel.

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Old 17th July 2010, 07:40 PM   #12
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Could also be copper or brass bands - need to check a little spot on the band to see if copper or brass - patinas would look the same (copper content on both).
Would have to see close ups of the scabbard to see if the patina matches woven rattan.
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Old 17th July 2010, 08:19 PM   #13
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Default close up of the missing band at the scabbardtip!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Could also be copper or brass bands - need to check a little spot on the band to see if copper or brass - patinas would look the same (copper content on both).
Would have to see close ups of the scabbard to see if the patina matches woven rattan.

It is copper and no brass. There is a very little spot on a round edge where the red copper is visible with a magnifying glass. Also it smells heavily like copper.

Here images of the tip of the scabbard where once a band had been. It is approximately 3 cm wide.
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Old 17th July 2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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Default close up of the fiber cord.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I'm wondering why this patinated differently than the hurried rattan binding just below (which should be of the same age).

Kai, I made a quick close-up also of a part of the fiber cord that are attached to the crosspiece and the ratan binding, cause on the other images this is hard to see.
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Old 18th July 2010, 01:21 AM   #15
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Hello Maurice,

Quote:
Kai, I made a quick close-up also of a part of the fiber cord that are attached to the crosspiece and the ratan binding, cause on the other images this is hard to see.

Thanks, I think we can toss this out as a non-traditional approach (Moro or otherwise): Too weak to be of any value in a humid climate...

Same-o with the iron nails.

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Old 18th July 2010, 01:52 AM   #16
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Hello Maurice,

Quote:
However the two holes in the crosspiece are much older, considering the patination and dirt which is in it...

I wouldn't place much emphasis on dirt/etc. which can accumulate a highly different rates. Is there any evidence for wear of the wood at those holes in the crosspiece though?

Quote:
However I guess it would be to heavy/large for a boy's ceremonial kris?
IMO this was not used as ceremonial kris, concerning the patina, wear and damages all over the piece...
The kris is almost 65 cm long. The blade only is 47 cm long.

The blade length is within the range of Sulu pieces but certainly an exception with non-archaic blades; OTOH the blade is very broad, especially for a Sulu piece, but isn't shortened later either. This makes me think that the blade has been intentionally "shortened" during the forging to make it fit a somewhat smaller person (boy not kid).

A ceremonial usage like exhibiting the status of a datu's son during formal events wouldn't preclude training and everyday carry, too. However, the copper band on the hilt doesn't support my assumption that this is clearly a datu-level piece; considering the wood quality, this must have been a fairly wealthy family though...

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Kai
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Old 18th July 2010, 01:54 AM   #17
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Attaching pics of the blade...
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Old 18th July 2010, 02:00 AM   #18
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Hello Maurice,

Quote:
About the silverwork....Just below the cacatua pommel there is a "copper" plate as decoration, which has old patina. I guess this material could be used as ferrule instead of silver??

Overlooked that. What metal is the wire holding it?

Yes, I agree that the scabbard likely had also bands of copper.

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Old 18th July 2010, 02:09 AM   #19
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Hello Maurice,

Quote:
Here images of the tip of the scabbard where once a band had been. It is approximately 3 cm wide.

That's too wide for most woven rattan bands; also those shadows appear to have smooth sides which would fit metal bands better than usually more rugged rattan, too.

May not be conclusive but I'd tend towards 2 metal rather than rattan bands for this scabbard.

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Old 18th July 2010, 03:56 AM   #20
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I'm with Kai on this. The patina does not have the the line or woven indentation that comes with tightly wrapped or woven rattan (if I judge the pictures right). It probably had a plain copper top and plain bottom band.
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Old 18th July 2010, 10:19 AM   #21
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Default restorion it will be!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Maurice,


Thanks, I think we can toss this out as a non-traditional approach (Moro or otherwise): Too weak to be of any value in a humid climate...

Same-o with the iron nails.

Hello Kai,

Thank you, I think you are right about that, so now we cleared that up it is easy to repair the crosspiece to the lower scabbardpiece. With 2 copper/brass bands, 3 cm wide...

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Maurice
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Old 18th July 2010, 10:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai

I wouldn't place much emphasis on dirt/etc. which can accumulate a highly different rates. Is there any evidence for wear of the wood at those holes in the crosspiece though?
Absolutely. Holes are definately not newly drilled!


Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
What metal is the wire holding it?
The copper band on the handle is connected with a brass wire.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
A ceremonial usage like exhibiting the status of a datu's son during formal events wouldn't preclude training and everyday carry, too. However, the copper band on the hilt doesn't support my assumption that this is clearly a datu-level piece; considering the wood quality, this must have been a fairly wealthy family though...
I agree that it isn't a datu piece according the copper band on the hilt.
But I can't see why it should be for a boy because of the chubby blade.
But you have seen a lot more pieces as I have of these, so I will surely take it in my consideration.

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Old 18th July 2010, 10:27 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
It probably had a plain copper top and plain bottom band.

Than we are with 3 of us.
A friend of mine offered me to make me the copper bands.
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Old 18th July 2010, 10:32 AM   #24
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Default Devious looking crest!

Any thoughts about the devious looking crest?

I think it is not a normal form, and probably something is broken, or a chip of wood is off, but according the patina a long, long time ago.
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Old 19th July 2010, 12:08 AM   #25
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Hello Maurice,

Quote:
Absolutely. Holes are definately not newly drilled!

Sure, I'm seeing the patina and all...

However, is there really any wear (thread used for binding actually cutting into the originally drilled/carved wood)? (As in the penai you had.)

Quote:
I agree that it isn't a datu piece according the copper band on the hilt.
But I can't see why it should be for a boy because of the chubby blade.

Speculation on my part. Will explain the line of reasoning later.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 19th July 2010, 12:20 AM   #26
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Hello Maurice,

Quote:
Any thoughts about the devious looking crest?

I think it is not a normal form, and probably something is broken, or a chip of wood is off, but according the patina a long, long time ago.

Looks indeed like a really old and well-used pommel. I agree that the crest chipped and probably got recarved a long time ago.

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Old 19th July 2010, 02:34 AM   #27
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I would leave the crest as is this time. It is basically complete, though as Kai says, a little carved long ago.....
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Old 20th July 2010, 08:03 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Is there really any wear (thread used for binding actually cutting into the originally drilled/carved wood)? (As in the penai you had.)

The thread is not cutting into the drilled/carved wood.....so no wear to see here...
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Old 20th July 2010, 08:05 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
I would leave the crest as is this time. It is basically complete, though as Kai says, a little carved long ago.....

Yep I am surely keep the pommel this way and I didn't intent to change anything to the crest. I was just curious about the strange shape of it.
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Old 25th July 2010, 09:15 AM   #30
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Default Gangja section!

gangja section:
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