Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Keris Warung Kopi

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 24th May 2022, 02:48 PM   #1
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default A Balinese (?)keris for identification please

Hello
I would be grateful for your views on age and type of this keris please. Blade length is 44cm. The scabbard is described as ivory and wood. The hulu is silver. The keris is described as Balinese. The dhapur and etching is not typical for a Bali keris but there is a Balinese dhapur Marap that resembles this shape in lacking the elephant trunk and having a straight blade shape and similar fullers. The etching is also noteworthy but it may just be out of stain. Thank you in advance.
Attached Images
      
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2022, 06:49 PM   #2
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,705
Default

An interesting kris probably from Lombok, the hilt depicts a demon which may be Ravana. The blade would benefit from warangan treating indeed, the ivory warangka in kekandikan style is discolored on the back side because the maker used the outer surface of the tusk. I would estimate the age to first half of 20th century but the hilt is probably more recent.
PS: The top part of the warangka may be from bone (the pics are not clear).

Last edited by Jean; 24th May 2022 at 08:00 PM.
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2022, 10:44 PM   #3
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,200
Default

Sid, may I ask where you got the dhapur name "marap" from?

I know of a Balinese dhapur "marak", but I do not know "marap".

The blade pre-dates 1900, but it is very difficult to date Balinese blades with any degree of certainty.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2022, 11:32 PM   #4
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

Hi Alan
Apologies. You are right. I meant 'Marak'. The reference I have is pg 266 of Keris Bali Bersejarah. Thanks for your thoughts re the age of the blade. I had thought that the hilt was also pre 1900s given the detail of the work and the patina of the silver.
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 12:23 AM   #5
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 6,920
Default

The silver patina is not a great indicator of age. However the style of work is more so and I would think that the metal work fits more the 1940s - 1970s.
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 02:49 AM   #6
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,200
Default

Thanks Sid, yes, I guess "marak" will pass with a push.

I don't know the Bali dhapurs, and I've gone to the Neka book too, the characteristics that dhapur marak should have are given as:-

gandhik polos berukir, alis, sogokan arep, reringgitan

I find this a bit confusing because "gandhik polos berukir" means a "plain gandhik that is carved" to my way of thinking the gandhik can be either plain or carved, but it cannot be both.

"alis" is OK, but "tikel alis" would be closer to the mark

"sogokan arep" would be more clear if it were to be "sogokan ngarep" which means "sogokan in front", but I guess that we can assume he means the same thing

"reringgitan" means greneng --- I have no idea what language this is, but the explanation is given under an illustration.

Anyway, I reckon this keris is probably near enough to marak, which I know as a Javanese dhapur, not Balinese. I cannot see a tikel alis in this keris under discussion, the sogokan is maybe there, the gandhik is not carved.

But maybe this keris does pass as marak.

Blade age is pre-1900, the dress probably dates from the 1960's-1970's.

The top of the wrongko(atasan) might not be ivory, as Jean has said, its a bit hard to judge from the photo, but if it is bone it would need to come from something pretty big.

I actually have a similar wrongko that came out of Bali in the early 1970's, the previous owner, who was a well known Australian collector, thought it was ivory, the gentleman who described it for the auction house that sold it in Sydney was another very experienced dealer and he thought it was ivory, but close inspection revealed that it was not. The previous owner had bought it from the original man who brought it out of Bali, this original importer had bought it in Bali, it was sold to him as ivory, and he honestly believed it was ivory.

If it does turn out to bone, don't feel too bad about it, a lot of people can make the same error.

I cannot give this hilt as pre-WWII, during the 1940's & 1950's the place was in turmoil, nothing much was going on in the way of art & craft, 1960's Bali & Indonesia in general started to open up again, 1970's the tourists were all coming back looking for a South Sea Island Paradise. I think it was most likely made in the early 1970's.

Battara is dead right, we cannot really rely on silver patina too much as an indicator of age.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 03:35 AM   #7
Anthony G.
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 384
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
An interesting kris probably from Lombok, the hilt depicts a demon which may be Ravana. The blade would benefit from warangan treating indeed, the ivory warangka in kekandikan style is discolored on the back side because the maker used the outer surface of the tusk. I would estimate the age to first half of 20th century but the hilt is probably more recent.
PS: The top part of the warangka may be from bone (the pics are not clear).
I was thinking if the warangka could be moose antler. There are already Balinese craftsmen using moose antler for warangka. I kept some moose antler material made Balinese hulu.
Anthony G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 03:43 AM   #8
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,611
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony G. View Post
I was thinking if the warangka could be moose antler. There are already Balinese craftsmen using moose antler for warangka. I kept some moose antler material made Balinese hulu.
For me moose antler has a rather particular look. I don't think this is moose.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 04:19 AM   #9
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,200
Default

Sid, if I'm right about approximate age of the dress, we can forget moose antler, the international supply network to Bali was a wee bit different 50-60 years ago to what it is now.

Imagine being in Den Pasar and being told that if you want to fly back to Australia you've got a choice between an occasional flight to Darwin, and catching the bus back to Jakarta --- alternatively you can take a boat.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 12:09 PM   #10
Anthony G.
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 384
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
For me moose antler has a rather particular look. I don't think this is moose.
I showed it to my good friend and he advised it is not ivory, could be a long bone sliced on the very side of the animal, Looks warangka might be made of animal bone.
Anthony G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 02:04 PM   #11
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,705
Default

Hello Sidj,
Please show us detailed pictures of the top part of the warangka (front, rear, and top sides, taken at a right angle) for better identification of the materials.
Regards
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 02:36 PM   #12
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

Hello,
I am not yet in possession of the keris. It has been described by the auction house as ivory. I know that mistakes can be made though. I will post images when I have it in hand. Apart from the dark patch, ivory seems plausible to me. Of course, it could also be some type of bone. I will be able to tell once I get it.
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2022, 08:23 PM   #13
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,705
Default

Thank you and yes, ivory materials is very possible but the small pits on the reverse side may indicate bone. By the way the hilt is placed in the reverse position.
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2022, 01:38 PM   #14
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

What if any are the implications of the atasan being ivory vs it being bone? Can we draw any inferences if it is one or the other? I presume bone is less prestigious than ivory but could this also enable a reassessment of the date of manufacture from the 1970s to earlier in time? Thanks in advance.
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2022, 05:34 PM   #15
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,705
Default

Yes, an ivory atasan is much more prestigious and expensive than a bone one.
Bone would often decay quickly (more or less depending on the type of bone and the selected piece) so it generally looks older than an ivory one of the same age, except if the ivory piece has not been properly selected .
See specimens of an ivory atasan (left), and a whale bone one.
Regards
Attached Images
  
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2022, 05:00 PM   #16
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

I have now received the keris and having checked it carefully I can confirm the Atasan is made of ivory and not bone. I am unsure if this necessitates any reappraisal of the age of the dress or not.
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2022, 05:26 PM   #17
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,611
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SidJ View Post
I have now received the keris and having checked it carefully I can confirm the Atasan is made of ivory and not bone. I am unsure if this necessitates any reappraisal of the age of the dress or not.
Personally i never thought it was bone, but i could not see any evidence of Elephant ivory (Schreger lines). Now that you have it in hand can you tell what type of ivory it might be? I'm not sure how much adjustment there would be to the age of the dress. It does seem newer than the blade and 20th century. Likely post-WWII, but it is still hard to tell from the seller's photos. The atasan does seem a little stiff in it's form which might point more to a later date than earlier. But these photos are all from odd angles. Maybe you could post some new images now that it is in your possession.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2022, 05:34 PM   #18
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

Pics of the keris
Attached Images
  
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2022, 05:36 PM   #19
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

Hi David,
I can see Schreger lines and therefore conclude it is elephant ivory
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2022, 05:55 PM   #20
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

pic
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st May 2022, 06:54 PM   #21
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,611
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SidJ View Post
Hi David,
I can see Schreger lines and therefore conclude it is elephant ivory
Thanks Sid. I saw these pics on the FB thread. I could see the Schreger lines there. Clearly elephant ivory. You might need a larger imager to convince the doubters here though.
David is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2022, 12:02 AM   #22
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,200
Default

Looks like you had a win Sid --- well, sort of a win.

The problems surrounding ivory these days mean that if you ever want or need to sell this keris your market is very limited.

I have some truly beautiful ivory pieces, not only keris related, and I would like to move them to new homes before I get a promotion, but I do not think that will ever happen --- new homes for the ivory I mean.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2022, 01:06 AM   #23
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

Thanks Alan,
I wont be selling it. I will pass on the liability to my children to deal with after I am promoted (or more likely demoted). Interestingly, this piece was the last ivory item the auction house sold before calling time on ivory sales in line with the new ban that comes into effect in the UK very soon in early June.
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2022, 01:31 AM   #24
Anthony G.
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 384
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SidJ View Post
Pics of the keris
Nice ivory warangka. Congrats!
Anthony G. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2022, 01:47 AM   #25
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,200
Default

Sid, I will not say that you are incorrect, nor that your intentions might not come to pass, but I will pass on a little bit of personal history.

My interest in keris began at a very young age, I was about 5 or 6 years old when I used to visit my mother's aunt together with my mother & grandmother. My mother's aunt's son had married a Malay lady and was living in Malaya -- as it then was --- he sent small gifts to his mother, one of which was a keris. I really, really wanted that keris.

I never got it, but I did get a collection of edged weapons, including keris, that my grandfather gave me at age 12.

By about age 30 I had an accumulation --- I hesitate to call it a collection --- of keris and keris related parts that numbered around 3000 items. I was pretty ignorant back then and I had the objective of owning every keris I encountered --- maybe every keris that ever was.

By about age 40 I had begun to gain a little bit of knowledge & my accumulation had turned into a collection of around 40 reasonably OK keris, all the other keris & keris related bits & pieces had been put through Sydney auctions.

From that point until now the size of my collection has increased and decreased depending mostly upon the need to get rid of some things in order to acquire other things.

Currently and for a few years past I have been decreasing my collection so that when Siwa pulls my number out of the hat my kids will not have to get rid of objects about which they know nothing.

Now, I do have quite a few very fine quality keris that contain ivory, and something more than 200 ivory hilts a few of which are exceptional. The only avenue open to me for sale of these ivory items is local small auction houses, I cannot send any of these ivory pieces out of Australia.

This is not an ideal situation.

Do you intend to live forever, or like a very good friend of mine who moved into the Hidden World a few years ago, when he was asked what would happen to his collection when he moved on, he replied that he intended to take it with him.

That, of course, did not happen; his heirs put it all to auction where it did not achieve the prices that it could have achieved if he had offered it for sale when he was still here.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2022, 09:54 PM   #26
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

True but at least he enjoyed them till the end and did not face dissolving his collection himself. It matters nought to him that the price achieved was lower. He had gone by then and his kids still got a windfall of sorts. Clearly he was attached to his stuff and to him it was worth holding on to. But yes it would have made more financial sense to sell and give his kids more of a windfall. Each to their own but I have warned my kids I will haunt them if they sell my stuff off! I am joking of course. But only a little.
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st June 2022, 10:02 PM   #27
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6,200
Default

Depends on perspective Sid.

The gentleman I mentioned had no children, I often felt that his collection was a substitute for children.

On the other hand I do have children, thus I have responsibility that never ends and continues even after I have moved on.

I would like to think I leave a relatively tidy work bench.
A. G. Maisey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd June 2022, 10:44 PM   #28
Gustav
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,046
Default

Interesting to see a Bali style Keris with defined Blumbangan but without Kruwingan and Tikel Alis. An unusually plain appearance.

SidJ, is there a possibiity to post a good picture of the base of blade with Gandhik on the left? Thank you very much!

And, is the blade alone indeed 44 cm long?
Gustav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2022, 02:58 PM   #29
SidJ
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 33
Default

Gustav see pic
Attached Images
 
SidJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th July 2022, 05:28 PM   #30
Gustav
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,046
Default

Thank you!
Gustav is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 05:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.