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Old 24th January 2022, 03:58 PM   #1
CharlesS
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Default I'd Like to Learn More About This Madura Keris

I recently acquired this Madura keris largely because of the unique pamor that in the center of the blade looks like twistcore forging. For members familiar with Moro twistcore, you will see this looks quite similar in pattern to one of the Moro twistcore techniques. I had not seen this before on an Indonesian keris...that similarity, that is...and hope to learn more about it.

Thanks for any input!
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Last edited by CharlesS; 24th January 2022 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 24th January 2022, 04:37 PM   #2
David
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Beautiful keris Charles! And yes, that is indeed unusual pamor. Besides this twisted core it also appears to have a small kul buntet pamor at the base, often considered a royal pamor. Can you supply a close up of the sorsoran area? Hopeful someone more knowledgable on forging technique like Alan can comment on this.
I can speak to some other aspects of this keris. The wrongko style is what is known as gabilan. It features Si Mega, the winged horse that is the regional emblem of Sumenep. The ivory hilt is in the kojuk mrenges form, a slimmer version of donoriko hilts. Can you supply some other angles on this hilt?
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Old 24th January 2022, 05:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Can you supply a close up of the sorsoran area?

Can you supply some other angles on this hilt?
David, I have added six pics to the initial post. I hope you will find them helpful.
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Old 24th January 2022, 08:55 PM   #4
A. G. Maisey
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I cannot see a Kul Buntet David, I can see what I think are probably artefacts from the creation of the twist pamor.

Charles, this is a reasonably common pamor in Madura blades, both older ones and certainly Kamardikan. Regrettably, this example is not particularly well controlled.

From the photos I am not able to be certain about age:- this type of pamor & blade quality is quite prevalent in Madura Kamardikan keris, but this blade looks as if it might be older, however, the gonjo is a poor fit to the blade, and I would not expect this sloppy fit in a blade with virtually no erosion. I would need to handle this keris to be at all certain about probable age.

The dress is old, late Colonial Period, and nice, but the dress was not made for this keris, it is a refit.

Regarding the similarity of Madura & Javanese twist pattern pamors to Moro twist pattern pamors. In previous times pande keris & empus from Madura travelled all over SE Asia. They worked in Sumatra, the Peninsula, Borneo, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Madura is now and always has been a place where it is difficult to make a living, many people get out of Madura as soon as they can. In East Jawa, Malang, Jember, every little town & village you will find people from Madura. Many Madurese live in Surabaya and along the North Coast.

I have a very slim Moro style keris that was probably the state execution keris of Brunei, it dates from 1862. A number of Javanese ahli keris in Solo, Central Jawa handled this keris in the 1990's and all were of the opinion that it was Madura work.

The terminology "twist core" is one that when applied to Madura and Javanese keris is patently incorrect. When applied to Moro keris it a term that has always caused me to doubt its accuracy.

For any blade to be "twist core", the core must be made first, then the cutting edge must be inserted into the core. This is the way that the Merovingian blades & other old European blades were made. It was a necessary process used to clean the poor quality material that these societies used. It became a mark of quality, and buyers began to demand that "twist core" appearance even after good quality material became available, and the earlier cleaning process was no longer necessary.

But the vast majority of Indonesian keris blades are not made by creating a pamor core and then inserting the cutting edge. With Indonesian blades the pamor is a plate that is forge welded to both sides of the steel core.

I suspect that if we put a saw through a few "twist core" Moro blades we might find a method of construction that is similar to the Indonesian method.
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Old 24th January 2022, 09:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for adding your observations Alan. Charles has since added a few more photos that would indeed put us in agreement about this keris. I also agree that "twisted core" is probably a misnomer, but like a few other terms that get thrown around in the collector world it has indeed become the descriptor for this type of forging. Is there a Madurese/Javanese name for this pamor that you are aware of?
The new photos do seem to reveal that this is not an original ensemble. Nothing really unusual about that, but does change some of my thinking on it. I am inclined to see this as an older Madura keris, rather than kamardikan. The age and wear looks genuine to my eyes as far as the photos tell. But as Alan reminds us, in hand it might reveal a different story. Alan has certainly seen and handled far more blades from this region than i. While i have certainly seen pamor like this with kamardikan keris, for me it seems to be a less common in old Madura blades. May not be the best control of this pattern, but from my perspective i would still consider this a desirable keris.
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Old 24th January 2022, 10:18 PM   #6
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I'd give it as "Lar Gangsir" = "Cricket Wing", that's Javanese, I do not know the Madura name, I do not understand Basa Madura.
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Old 25th January 2022, 12:26 AM   #7
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Thanks, guys! I am grateful for the input.

I noticed the loss of control in the pattern towards the middle of the blade and towards the tip. This loss of control is also seen in some Moro "twist-cores"( for lack of a better term).

Thanks again!
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Old 25th January 2022, 01:24 AM   #8
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Alan, is pamor lar gangsir just another name for pamor ganggeng kanyut?
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Old 25th January 2022, 02:10 AM   #9
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No Jaga, ganggeng is different, if we see a good example of ganggeng, it looks pretty much like its name:- 'trailing water weeds', ie, water weeds that have been washed away and are trailing through the water.

With Lar Gangsir we have a much more compact pamor, and there are several recognised patterns for this pamor motif, all made the same way but with varying degrees of manipulation.
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Old 25th January 2022, 02:47 AM   #10
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Ah yep I see the difference. Thanks Alan.
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