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Old 19th October 2022, 11:07 PM   #1
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Default Looking for info on this carved bone kris

Hi guys, I donít know a whole lot about kris / keris knives but really liked the design of this one so had to buy it.

Any info is appreciated though Iím mainly interested in the age and origin.

Also can anyone translate the script on the blade?

My instinct says itís probably a tourist piece, as it seems quite small compared to others Iíve seen, and the carvings arenít as detailed
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Last edited by tool_of_a_took; 20th October 2022 at 09:31 AM. Reason: Forgot to upload images
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Old 20th October 2022, 12:03 AM   #2
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you need to post pictures.
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Old 20th October 2022, 09:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Ah, think I forgot to press the upload button. Iíll add them again
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Old 20th October 2022, 10:35 PM   #4
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Size is not usually what determines that a keris was made for the tourist market. There are many types of keris such as keris patrem and keris selit that can be rather small, but are real cultural items.
I don't generally call out something for being a "tourist keris" unless it's one of those nasty keris-like-objects (KLOs) that they sold in Balinese marketplaces with the stock reduction blades and fake pamor. So i won't call this one that and it is hard to say what this one was actually made for. But the blade here, while certainly of some age, is a rather unrefined little fellow, not created by someone with great skills. I don't really see many indicators that allow me to place its origin. The script that has been added is rather inexpertly done. I'm not sure what it is meant to say. It might be a passage from the Koran or it might simply be gibberish. Someone here may know. The all bone sheath is not of the type that i have ever seen used for serious cultural keris dress. There may be exceptions. It's carved in a Malay style, possibly Sumatran. A Javanese mendak completes the ensemble.
This is all to say that your instincts may well be correct.
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Old 21st October 2022, 01:03 AM   #5
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The inscription has what appear to be harakat diacritics which are only used in Qur'anic Arabic. I'm thrown as to what it's supposed to say though. It's less to do with the legibility and more to do with it making little sense.
It could be the first part of the shahada, split across both faces of the blade but if it is it's been written as if it's by someone who has no a low command of how to use Qur'anic Arabic script and who doesn't know how to spell, so attempts to spell purely phonetically.

If we transliterate the first half of the shahada it would be "ashhadu an laa ilaaha illAllahu", but what we have here might be something more like
Face 1: "alshaa haduu Allah [..]"
Face 2: "[..] Aa Allaha IllAllah" - then followed by a letter or two that I can't make out.

Last edited by jagabuwana; 21st October 2022 at 01:05 AM. Reason: removed a tautology
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bone, keris, knife, kris, script

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