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Old 15th April 2022, 05:13 AM   #1
shayde78
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Default Missing "gems"

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I last had something to share with you, but I would appreciate your opinions. I very recently acquired this keris, and I am curious if the holes drilled into the Hulu indicate places where glass or stones would have been mounted?

As always, any additional feedback is greatly appreciated. These pictures were taken immediately after receiving. I have not changed anything, removed the hulu, or messed around with it at all. One thing I will note is the ganja is a little loose.

Thank you greatly for any insights you can share.
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Old 15th April 2022, 05:15 AM   #2
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Apologies - the orientation of these photos seems to have changed when I uploaded. They are all meant to have the tip of the blade pointing upwards. I'm not sure how to fix since the original photos on my end are oriented correctly but got turner 90 when uploaded.
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Old 15th April 2022, 09:03 AM   #3
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There were no gems IMO, but just decorative holes. This is an old Madurese hilt in kojuk mrenges style and made from ivory?
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Old 16th April 2022, 01:57 PM   #4
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I agree with Jean about the holes. But there are aspects of this material that make me wonder if it isn't bone rather than ivory.
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Old 16th April 2022, 08:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I agree with Jean about the holes. But there are aspects of this material that make me wonder if it isn't bone rather than ivory.
Yes David, you are probably correct as there seems to be a repair (cap) on the top part.
Shayde, if you can free the hilt, please show us the pesi hole for checking its condition (pitting or not).
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Old 16th April 2022, 11:12 PM   #6
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Thank you, Jean and David,

Below are the additional photos.

Additional details, the hulu is 1.5 ounces in weight
The blade with mendak is 8.5 ounces
In total, the entire assemblage is 16 inches (41cm).
It certainly has a hefty feel in the hand.

There appears to be an insert in the pesi hole. Wood, perhaps? I suspect you both would have a better idea what materials would be employed in such a construction.

I am always conservative in determining if something is bone or ivory. I assume bone, unless there is some definitive feature to suggest otherwise.

Thanks again!
-Rob
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Old 17th April 2022, 08:55 AM   #7
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Thank you Rob. From the pics the hilt seems to be made from bone and the insert from wood indeed.
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Old 18th April 2022, 05:56 PM   #8
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Hello Rob,

The handle is from bone or deer antler. And I agree with Jean and David the holes are pure decorative.
Attached are a few Kojuk Mrenges hilts, the three on the left are ivory, the dark one is wood and the right bone or antler.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 22nd April 2022, 01:18 AM   #9
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Thank you Jean, David, and Detlef!

Makes sense that a wood insert would be necessary if the marrow cavity of the bone was larger than the pesi. Thank you for teaching me this detail as it seems it would be a sure sign of bone being the material.

As always, I appreciate you generously sharing your knowledge.

-Rob

PS: Beautiful collection of hulu, Detlef!

Last edited by shayde78; 22nd April 2022 at 01:20 AM. Reason: Added postscript
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Old 23rd April 2022, 05:59 PM   #10
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Here is another example of a Kojuk Mrenges hilt in my collection.
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Old 24th April 2022, 12:54 AM   #11
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Here are a few more Khojuk Marenges hilts. I'm not sure that all would qualify as this hilt style, I think they all do, but I'm not certain because I have not checked against references, maybe there are a few that do not make the basket.

From memory, I think the name means something like a particular type of bird (a kujhuk) quivering in fear because it has been trapped.
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Old 24th April 2022, 09:15 AM   #12
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Hello Alan,
The specimen on the far right of the top row is in tumenggunan (regent) style IMO because it has 2 flat and parallel faces on the top part.
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Old 24th April 2022, 09:36 AM   #13
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Yes, it could be Jean, and if you look carefully you might find a few more that could be classified as something else.

I like to use the Aswin Wirjadi collection as a reference when possible, but I did not have time to do that. I've got around 100 or so Madura hilts, they're kept in a drawer --- apart from the ones on keris & a dozen or so on a display stand --- so I just sorted through the drawer and pulled out the ones that I thought might qualify, I was using overall form & epaulets or their substitution as the classifiers.

It was just a very quick pick & foto.
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Old 25th April 2022, 06:33 PM   #14
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@ David: the base of your KM handle is for a great part gone/worn ?
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Old 26th April 2022, 02:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul B. View Post
@ David: the base of your KM handle is for a great part gone/worn ?
I've never really thought about it before, but i do understand your question. It's fairly old ivory, so i suppose it is possible that there was damage and it was "repaired" by removal of the base. But when i have seen this before some other material is usually used as a replacement for the worn out part.
This is a rather small example of this style of hilt and is on a patrem. So it his possible it was always this way or perhaps shortened to proportionally fit the the blade better. But if you look in Detelf's examples in post #8, the one in the middle also doesn't have the normal base to the hilt.
Alan, do you know anything more about this one?

Last edited by David; 26th April 2022 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Correcting position info
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Old 26th April 2022, 05:09 PM   #16
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Detelf's examples in post #8, the second one from the right also

David you probably refer to the THIRD one from the right. (the photo normally does not show entirely all the hilts)
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Old 26th April 2022, 08:06 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIO View Post
Detelf's examples in post #8, the second one from the right also

David you probably refer to the THIRD one from the right. (the photo normally does not show entirely all the hilts)
Yes, sorry, i did mean THIRD from the right. I will correct my post. Thanks!
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Old 26th April 2022, 10:37 PM   #18
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David, I've posted a pic 20 odd hilts.

Some have the full bulbous base (bungkul), some do not, these "do not" ones have that base similar to yours.

I don't know why, but my feeling is that it is stylistic variation, possibly dictated by available material, possibly because of a need to match proportion to a wrongko.

Or it could be because of damage to the base, but I don't think so. There are too many of these truncated base hilts floating around.

Yes, a lot of the truncated base ones have a fairly indistinct bungkul & it has been carved, also I have a few smaller ones that are on keris that do not have the bungkul.

I lean to stylistic variation.
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