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Old 13th July 2019, 05:42 PM   #1
Athanase
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Default Unusual balinese warangka.

Hello,
I would like your opinion on this keris.
The overall shape is Balinese but there is some details on the warangka that could make more Javanese.

What do you think?

Blade length : 33cm
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Old 13th July 2019, 11:15 PM   #2
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These markings on either side of the wrongko where the gander meets it may be unusually large and elaborate, but they seem quite in order for a Balinese keris to me. On the other hand, i have rarely if ever seen them on Javanese keris. Here are a couple of examples that have these elements well carved, though not as elaborate as yours. But on most Bali sheaths that i own there is at least some simple lines in those places as a marker.
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Old 13th July 2019, 11:25 PM   #3
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If it is the lip at the top of the wrongko and the way it rises at the back i can see sometime Javanese is that form, but i don't think it is never seen on Bali sheaths. I made this comparison to show someone the difference in shape between Javanese and Bali gayaman some time ago. But i am still fairly confident that your sheath is Bali, or perhaps Lombok, not Javanese. Note that those flourishes at the joint with the gandar are not present on the Javanese keris in this example while rudimentary ones are present on the Balinese wrongko.
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Old 14th July 2019, 11:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
If it is the lip at the top of the wrongko and the way it rises at the back i can see sometime Javanese is that form, but i don't think it is never seen on Bali sheaths. I made this comparison to show someone the difference in shape between Javanese and Bali gayaman some time ago. But i am still fairly confident that your sheath is Bali, or perhaps Lombok, not Javanese. Note that those flourishes at the joint with the gandar are not present on the Javanese keris in this example while rudimentary ones are present on the Balinese wrongko.


Yes it's the two lips of each side of Wrongko that made me doubt because they are identical to Javanese wrongko.
On the other hand, I agree that all the other details of this sheath are perfectly Balinese.
So it would be just a Javanese influence on a Balinese scabbard?
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Old 14th July 2019, 05:12 PM   #5
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Hello,
not as nicely carved as yours, but with a similar shape of the wrongko
(total lenght 51 cm/20 inch and a polished blade)
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Old 14th July 2019, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirek
Hello,
not as nicely carved as yours, but with a similar shape of the wrongko
(total lenght 51 cm/20 inch and a polished blade)


I love the blade!!

In addition to its "lips", a handle and mendak in a javanese style but the rest with balinese style, your keris also asks the same question.
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Old 14th July 2019, 10:34 PM   #7
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hmmmm....any possibility we are dealing with Balinese people living in Jawa?
Sirek's keris is very interesting. I also love the blade and it sure looks like it could be a Bali/Lombok.
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Old 14th July 2019, 11:14 PM   #8
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I've been waiting for that idea David.

To me, this wrongko atasan is East Jawa/West Bali. On a day when there is a wind from the west you can stand at the car ramp in Banyuwangi and spit into Gilimanuk. Both sides of the strait there is a mixture of cultures, in East Jawa you have Balinese people, in West Bali you have Javanese people.

I reckon this wrongko is far east Jawa.

Blade length is 33cm = 13 inches.

Bali?

How long is the actual wrongko?
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Old 15th July 2019, 03:32 AM   #9
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Well, it makes a lot of sense to me Alan. The sheaths take on a general Javanese shape, but keep key elements of Bali wrongko form. Seems like a logical solution.
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Old 15th July 2019, 04:45 PM   #10
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xtra pictures of the blade (kebo teki)
and the size of the wrongko,
(the blade length without pesi=33,5 cm/13,2 inch)
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Old 15th July 2019, 10:07 PM   #11
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In respect of Sirek's yellow keris, this is a Javanese presentation.The use of a tortoiseshell veneer is something that is outside the mainstream, but there are a lot of Javanese keris that are outside the mainstream, again, I'd probably give this as East Jawa. Actually, I'd expect a blewah with a wide open face on this gandar, that's what I've usually seen with this sort of setup.

Looking very closely at the finish of this wrongko, and the mating of atasan/gambar to gandar, is there any possibility that this wrongko might be a marriage?

Yes, it is a keris that would be wearable in Jawa, and not really so much in Bali, but there are a couple of things I'm uncomfortable with, and I cannot really form a solid opinion from a photo.

Edit

The more I look at this yellow keris, the more I think it is is a marriage.

A kebo blade usually has the sorsoran accomodated in the atasan, the sorsoran on this keris looks as if it willl penetrate the top of the gandar, the atrasan itself is a narrow from top to bottom, within Javanese parameters, but still, a bit too narrow for this keris. The gandar extends beyond its natural boundaries and is not a tight fit to the atasan, the sirah cecak stands a whisker proud, exactly what we would expect if the fear was that the segrek might cut through the side of the gandar.

I'd be happier to comment with this keris in my hand, but my tentative opinion is that this keris is a marriage, and a marriage that has been done by a relatively unskilled person. It might have been done in Jawa, in a rural area this would pass as a pretty decent sort of keris, but it might equally have been done a long way from Jawa.

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Old 18th July 2019, 05:05 PM   #12
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Thanks Alan for your opinion, is a polished blade common in region East Jawa?
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Old 18th July 2019, 11:01 PM   #13
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Actually, polished blades were the norm in times past.

Javanese blades were polished, just as we're accustomed to seeing Balinese blades polished now. The textured finish that is now the norm for Javanese blades is a pretty recent thing --- put that recent into context, say within a couple of hundred years, maybe less.

I've handled Javanese keris brought out of Jawa pre 1700, I've handled keris kept in storage in the Surakarta Karaton, I have Javanese keris in my own collection that came to me from Holland. All have smooth polished surfaces. I think this textured surface that we are used to seeing is just a product of human laziness:- it is easier to clean off rust with acid than with elbow grease.

However, that said, "East Jawa" is not just one homogeneous single entity.

In the west of East Jawa we have the Madiun area, and that tends towards Jawa Tengah in culture and style, reason being that it used to fall under the control of Mataram.

Go to the far east of Jawa Timur, across to the Banyuwangi area, and Jawa style is mixed with Bali style, cross over the Bali Strait into West Bali, and Jawa style & culture is mixed with Bali style & culture.

Come back to the centre of East Jawa, around Surabaya/Malang/Jember, and all through here there is a goodly touch of Madura.

We cannot generalise and think of just "East Jawa", nor can we generalise in terms of time and think that what applies now has always applied.
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