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Old 11th February 2006, 04:31 PM   #1
Valjhun
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Default My first Keris

I'm not exactly a keris person, actually I do not know almost anything about indonesian weapons, however visiting that wonderful forum I came to like them. So I decided to buy a couple of kerisess and here is the first one. What can you expert guys tell me about it? Age, Origin, ecc. Anything would help. Thanks!
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Old 11th February 2006, 10:51 PM   #2
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Nice first keris. An oldie and a goodie. Nice, well formed ricikan (carved features). Surakarta dress. Can you do some close-up? It reminds me quite a lot of my first one in many ways. Just a warning. They are addicting.
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Old 12th February 2006, 08:13 AM   #3
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Lovely 13 luk keris from Solo, Surakarta. For a starter this is a very good keris.
This keris is called a keris bolong. Bolong is refering to the holes in the sogokan. It is said that when the owner is looking through the holes to a woman he wants, he will get her.

Happy hunting
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Old 12th February 2006, 08:47 AM   #4
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A nice old keris, indeed in a Solo dress. This kind of shape (dapur) with 13 luk was very popular with Maduranese soldiers in service of Solonese army.
So many times we can see a blade made in Madura. The name of the dapur is Parungsari or Sangelat, which depends on a little difference ; If it has 1 or Djalu memet: 1= Parungsari or 2= Sangkelat

sorry cannot translate djalu memet, but i will try make it clear with a photo
example a parungsari:
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Old 12th February 2006, 09:33 AM   #5
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Default parungsari

example:
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Old 12th February 2006, 10:25 AM   #6
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Gentlemen, thank you all for your help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nechesh
Just a warning. They are addicting.


Nechesh, I bet it, as soon I have recived it, I needed at least one more...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henk
Bolong is refering to the holes in the sogokan. It is said that when the owner is looking through the holes to a woman he wants, he will get her.

Happy hunting


What a coincidence, just the one I needed
Ehm,... Would be just looking to the foto of her enough? I really do not want to scare her....

Here are some aditional immages. Simatua, a Sangkelat, I guess? What is the meaning/purpose of that bright metal insert in the Bolong?
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Old 12th February 2006, 11:30 AM   #7
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a sangelat indeed, it has a double djalu memet.
I Dont know exactly what the bright metal insert the bolong means.
I know that manytimes often through the many washings due to the "hormat" = honour given at the keris. The keris gets this bolong at the thinnest places first.
in my opinion there some possibilities:
1. It was there all the time , only this piece of metal (nickel) was more resistent to the arsenic then normal iron, and still stucked there

2.The owner attatched a high value at this keris. rapairing the(starting) bolong with strange iron different than the keris is "not done" , so the reapairing was done with a different metal. Sometimes you see reparations on old kerise done with gold.

3. Its inserted to give more powers at the powers already existed.
in this case i would certainly take this keris to the disco...

....i hope the kerisexperts/lovers can tell more about it
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Old 12th February 2006, 02:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henk
Lovely 13 luk keris from Solo, Surakarta. For a starter this is a very good keris.
This keris is called a keris bolong. Bolong is refering to the holes in the sogokan. It is said that when the owner is looking through the holes to a woman he wants, he will get her.

Happy hunting


There has been some serious debate as to whether or not this is "true" bolong (also seen spelled combong and complong). Some will insist that real bolong exist only when it was there from the start as a feature created by the empu. I have seen such keris, though they are somewhat rare. I have heard it argued that calling this bolong it merely an attempt to place a higher spiritual value on what is ultimately a defect in the keris making revealed through years of acidic etching. IMO though, i think when a blade has lasted this long and received constant attention (i.e. washing) that it does deservre some added respect. But i wouldn't set your wedding date yet.
The bit of metal stuck in the hole is curious and interesting. Any idea of it's actual composition? I could, as suggested, be a way of honoring the keris. The idea of a repair seems unlikely to me because i would expect it to fill the entire hole and probably both.
The mendak looks pretty old and tired and has lost all it's stones . You might want to further honor the keris by replacing it with a new one. Nice quality mendaks are available at relatively resonable prices. (see the mendak on simatau's keris).
BTW Martin, why do you think this one is Madurese? And where does your information about Madurese soldiers preferring 13 luk blades come from. I have never read that.
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Old 12th February 2006, 03:09 PM   #9
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Default replacing the mendak

You'r right about the mendak nechesh, I did put on a new one because there was no mendak at all.
personally i preffer an old one, even with some damage or stones etc missing than a fancy new mendak.
taste is different. About the info...I look it up and come back.

Nechesch can you show us a photo of your keris with the forged bolong?
thanks
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Old 12th February 2006, 06:10 PM   #10
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I guess Valjhun owes this Forum a complete account of the consequences of his trip to the singles bar.
If he reports a success, I am screwing a hole in one of my krises
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Old 12th February 2006, 06:14 PM   #11
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Martin, the keris with the forged bolong was not mine. I will see if i can obtain any photos of it.
Personally, i like older mendaks as well, but not if they have considerable damage or loss. For me it is a gesture to the spirit of the keris to dress it appropriately.
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Old 12th February 2006, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nechesh
The bit of metal stuck in the hole is curious and interesting. Any idea of it's actual composition? I could, as suggested, be a way of honoring the keris. The idea of a repair seems unlikely to me because i would expect it to fill the entire hole and probably both.

BTW Martin, why do you think this one is Madurese? And where does your information about Madurese soldiers preferring 13 luk blades come from. I have never read that.


The piece of metal in the hole is not a piece of nickle that resisted the etching. Not a strange thought because the iron of the blade is eaten away while the nickle resists the etching. It is added later and in my opinion you should remove it. IMHO it is not something to honor the keris. By honoring the keris I'm sure something more valueable would be added.

That madurese soldiers prefered 13 luk blades is also new for me. I'm very curious to hear where you got that information.
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Old 13th February 2006, 07:22 PM   #13
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Default criticism is good

To Nechesh, Henk and all other keris lovers/colectors.
first of all its good to have some criticism and have questions if someone makes a statement or say something about kerises.

There are many articles and books written about kerises, but as we say in the Netherlands "not everything cuts wood" many things written do not have a good source and opinions of several writers are different.

this forum is ment to have fun and learn from eachother, although for me.
to stick to the true, is imo important.
The statement i put on " that madures soldiers preffer 13 luk blades" i cannot build upon a fundation found in - a to my eyes - reliable source.

seeing this blade;looking at the pamor, it gave me the idea that it came from Madura.i m a keris colllector/learner for about 10 yrs, and from the things i have seen and compared i still think it is...other opinions are more than welcome, after all this is a discussion forum.

That many kerises from madura can be found in a Surakarta dress, comes true the fact that after the Java war(1825-1830) many soldiers were permantly quartered in the so called "Land of the princes" Solo/Dyogya.

maybe i'dd mixed some things up..hope to straiten it by this.
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Old 15th February 2006, 01:30 PM   #14
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Martin,

Just like you we have fun on the forum and learn a lot from our fellow members.
Please, dont see the remarks Nechesh and I made as criticism. Because it isn't. We just want to know where your info comes from.

As a dutch just like you are, you and I know that especially on the subject keris the knowledge about the keris is not always found in books. A lot of our fellow countrymen where inhabitants of Indonesia who came in the fifties to Holland and they didn't wrote their knowledge in books but passed it oral to their sons and the interested dutch youngsters who where fascinated by the keris and wanted ancious to learn. That last part was certainly for me.

I for instance have on a small sheet written down by an Indonesian friend of my in those days the steps for cleaning the keris. I bet that that is not found in any book. Scientific?? Certainly not!! But for me it is a treasure and the knowledge passed to me how to take care for your keris. And it is just as you said and other forum members made that remark before, also the authors of the books differ in their opinions and made mistakes.

So don't see it as an attack. We just want to gather knowledge just like you.
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Old 15th February 2006, 01:55 PM   #15
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Thanks for clarifying your position Martin. Still, i think i will stick with Javanese origin, probably sometime in the Mataram kingdom.
As Henk said, we were both interested in your source for yur comment on Madurese soldiers because when we hear a factoid that we haven't heard before we wonder what references we are missing in our libraries.
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Old 15th February 2006, 04:40 PM   #16
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Martin,

Just like Nechesh i'm afraid that I'm convinced that this keris is javanese and not madurese.
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Old 17th February 2006, 04:59 PM   #17
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Default Dapur and Tangguh

hi dear all,

I just want to give my opinion about Valjhun keris ;
I think the dapur called Parungsari with Pamor Wos Wutah (strewn rice). That because this keris has 13 luks and 2 Lambe Gajah and another ricikans. Different with Sengkelat which has just 1 Lambe Gajah.

For another example of Parungsari Keris : http://keris.fotopic.net/p22383543.html

And this one called Sengkelat : http://keris.fotopic.net/p24377230.html

From the iron kind, luk style, sirah cecak, bend of the wadidang and kembang kacang style, I supposed that this keris came from Mataram period, more specific ; Mataram Sultan Agung period (about 16th century). Nice keris !!

The wrangka is and old made in Gayaman Surakarta style from Timoho wood.
Nice wrangka !!

The old mendak called Kendhit with beads which made from Zakut stones, like a diamond but more dull.

Many the Mataram Sultan Agung kerises made with deep Sogokan. So that many keris from this period came with hole at the Sogokan, especially if the owner didn't taken care it well.

Overall, this is an authentic good keris with good wrangka !!
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Old 20th February 2006, 07:50 AM   #18
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wow, that's nice if it is really from 16th century

Thanks to all of you for that most interesting debatate.

I have a further question. Is there a way of cleaning or treatment to bring up the pamor with no risk of damaging the blade?
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Old 20th February 2006, 08:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valjhun
I have a further question. Is there a way of cleaning or treatment to bring up the pamor with no risk of damaging the blade?
Traditionally, to remove rust and clean the keris, coconut water is used (use ripe coconut for better result). Remove the hilt and hilt ring, soak the keris blade in coconut water. Leave it for 1-2 days. It can take up to 3-4 days depending on how thick/stubborn the rust on the blade. Remove the blade approx. every 6 hours, brush gently with a tooth brush and rinse in soapy water. The rust will be removed and you will get the pamor pattern.
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Old 20th February 2006, 01:34 PM   #20
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Alam Shah,

Is the juice of coconut enough to get the pamor back?

I was thought that warangan (lemon or lime juice with arsenic) did the etching to get the pamor back again.
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Old 20th February 2006, 02:53 PM   #21
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Henk, with coconut juice...you'll get a faint pattern. With lime juice, you'll get a light contrasting effect. Most contrasting, would be lime juice with arsenic (but this process, can 'eat' the blade a little), depending on the blade material.

For a blade like Valjhun's, which had worn down, coconut juice is recommended, imo only.
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Old 20th February 2006, 05:05 PM   #22
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Alam Shah, Thank you.

What about the coco juice? If I understand it right I have to buy around 10 coconuts at the fruits vendor and then deep the keris int that juice , or are we talking about a special coconut product?
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Old 20th February 2006, 11:00 PM   #23
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Valjhun, It depends on how much water the coconut contains. And considering it will evaporate slowly, about 10 would do fine.
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Old 15th March 2006, 06:04 PM   #24
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Default My second one...

Like Nechesh said, They can be verry verry adictive, so I introduce my second puppy. Not as nice as the first one, I guess (there is no mendak, the ukiran is stuck, pendok damaged) but still a nice javanese(?) oldie with quite nice pamor (tell me if i'm wrong).

As ever, I have some questions.
What kind of pamor is it and what is it bring?
How old is the blade?
Is it constructed of meteorite?

Thanks!

BTW: There's the third one on his way
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Old 15th March 2006, 11:22 PM   #25
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Hmm...an old blade.
Keris Gayaman Solo, Dapur Brojol.
Pamor looks like a mixture of a few patterns.

> Like Nechesh said, They can be verry verry adictive, so I introduce my second
> puppy. Not as nice as the first one, I guess (there is no mendak, the ukiran is
> stuck, pendok damaged) but still a nice javanese(?) oldie with quite nice
> pamor (tell me if i'm wrong).

To remove the ukiran, heat the blade a little at the sorsoran area and gently remove the ukiran, in a gentle twisting motion.
From the 3rd picture, it seems that pitch had been used to secure the ukiran, due to some black stain on the ganja and sorsoran area.

The pendok you should be able to remove and do some minor touch-up.
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Old 15th March 2006, 11:48 PM   #26
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Sorry, i double posted. See post below.
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Old 15th March 2006, 11:56 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valjhun
BTW: There's the third one on his way


Yep, i'm afraid there is no hope for you now.....Bwah Ha Ha!
One thing i will say about your keris collecting is that you seem to be avoiding the pitfalls of many new collectors in that you are finding actual old pieces, condition issues aside, instead of all those new keris that are aged and sold as old.
Shahrial may well be right that pitch was used here, but do be careful not to try to force the hilt off or you might crack it. Sometimes some idoit comes along and epoxys a hilt on.
You should be able to at least minimize the pendok damage as has been suggested and it's easy enough to buy a nice mendak. It looks like this blade should clean up nicely.
If you've been following the recent meteorite thread you might have predicted my answer to that question . I would personally be doubtful, but from your pics i will say that this keris does appear to have some fairly high-contrast pamor for an old blade. You never know (really). Would love to see what it looks like cleaned and stained.
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Old 16th March 2006, 02:59 AM   #28
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Question Bright Metal

Hi all,

Regarding the bright metal which has been inserted to the blade, I have one example of it. Refer attached photo, the metal is near to the gonjo. Earlier, I did not realized it, but then, while cleaning the blade, the metal appeared immediately and it become much more brighter. Any opinion, wether the metal has been added later by the previous owner by purposed?

Regards,
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Old 17th March 2006, 04:39 PM   #29
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Nechesh and the others, thank you for your kindess.

But how old is my second keris?

Nechnes, yes I'm trying to avoid thoose new kerises
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Old 17th March 2006, 05:30 PM   #30
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Valjhun, for me the trick isn't to necessarily avoid new keris, just to know what they are when you buy them. I also prefer the older blades, but i have a couple of beautiful modern examples as well and i think it is a good thing to encourage the continuence of the art.
As we have discussed before, dating keris is a tricky thing even with the blade in hand and much harder to do just from photos, even for the well trained experts. Often enough even experts will disagree about the tangguh of a keris and really such dating can only be taken as an estimate. So i am going to avoid making a fool of myself by even guessing on your blade.
I do look foward to seeing your third one when it arrives.
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