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Old 14th July 2020, 03:09 PM   #1
Gavin Nugent
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Default Old Java Keris ???

I know very little about keris, even less where Java Keris are concerned. Some years ago I shared this with a member. To my surprise he placed this in the 17th century.

It seems to have travelled a long way as many keris have over the centuries, dressed in a Minangkabau hulu but retaining it's Java sarong.

Its a monster of a blade compared to all other Java blades I've had and have.

Gavin
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Old 14th July 2020, 06:30 PM   #2
Marcokeris
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the blade seems to me Balinese, hilt from Sumatra and mendak and sarong from Java
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Old 14th July 2020, 10:09 PM   #3
kai
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I'm with Marco on the parts of this ensemble, Gavin.

The nice Bali blade deserves some warangan to bring out the pamor...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 14th July 2020, 10:20 PM   #4
A. G. Maisey
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In my opinion this keris is early Jawa.

Difficult to place in time, probably a very knowledgeable Javanese enthusiast might give it as something like Kahuripan, that relates to pre-Majapahit East Jawa,which in my opinion cannot be supported by either historical or monumental evidence, but as a classification rather than a place in time, it might stand. There are things that cannot be appraised from a photograph that would need appraisal before I could give a tangguh classification.

My preference is to relate this blade to the very large Javanese blades from the North Coast that immediately followed the collapse of Majapahit and the migration of smiths to the West.

16th century seems reasonable, this would place in the 1500's, Majapahit collapsed around 1525.

17th century is too late because the Demak/Pajang/Mataram forms were dominant at that time.

15th century is too early because during the 1400's the keris was undergoing change from the old Bethok/Buda form to the Modern Keris that we know now.

Of course, if this keris were to be stripped of dress and given a good clean and then stained, most collectors would give it as Bali, I might even do so myself, and then probably place it in the 19th century. But it is not reasonable to assume a 19th century Balinese blade is going to be dressed in very old, probably damaged, North Coast Jawa dress.

EDIT
Close examination of detail cannot support very early East Jawa such as Kahuripan or Jenggolo, there are features that might be able to be aligned to Majapahit, but it would be difficult to convince most people we were looking at a Mojo blade because nobody living has ever seen one in original condition and known with certainty what they were looking at.

The overall length might prove to be a bit short for the North Coast blades I have in mind, but I think overall I need to stay with North Coast, 1500's:- size, workmanship(garap), details pretty much rule out anything else, and the dress rules out 19th century Bali.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 14th July 2020 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 15th July 2020, 02:12 AM   #5
David
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Alan certainly knows better on the details, but i also would have placed this blade as Javanese. I would have said post Mojopahit. Pre seems too early to me. Seems is fairly nice condition and could use some TLC.
I'd like to see better photos of the hilt. I'm not sure it is Minang.
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Old 15th July 2020, 04:38 AM   #6
Gavin Nugent
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Alan,

Thank you very much for your supporting insight in to this wonderful old Keris.

If COVID ever ends I'd be more happy to provide you with this Keris in the hand to enjoy. We've family in the Blue Mountains we'd like to see once this all settles down and if not too far out of the way, happy to make a detour to you.

Are there further images or details that would help you in understanding this keris from afar?

David,

Thank you for your interest. I will take some photos of this most unusual and unique hulu.


With thanks

Gavin
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Old 15th July 2020, 05:25 AM   #7
A. G. Maisey
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Thank you for your kind offer Gavin, please let me know when you're down in the Mountains and if at all possible we might be able to meet. I'm a bit of a way from Katoomba though, Huskisson area.

No, there is nothing that I could get through photos or notes that could alter my opinion much, if at all.
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Old 15th July 2020, 12:11 PM   #8
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Absolutely wonderful blade, Gavin. I hope you'll share photos if you do decide to stain it or redress it.
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Old 16th July 2020, 05:28 AM   #9
Gavin Nugent
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Alan, Thank you.

It will be a welcome trip from Springwood to your stunning part of the world... a well deserved over night beach break if you can make recommendations.

Bjorn, Thank you.

I'm not sure I ever want to disturb this current marriage of cultures. To me, as it sits, this holds history still in time and displays an important part of time in Java and Keris history.
Right or wrong, I feel it would isolate cultural context and detract from this history just to present a revamped blade that is otherwise overlooked as being 19th century Balinese
Happy to discuss pros and cons privately with any concerned persons so I may see another point of view clearer.

David, As requested, some images of the unique hulu below.


For general interest, other images are provided may or may not offer context

One next to a later Malaysian relative, a substantial 11luk Terrengannu Keris.
Another next to other Java blades I have here. The one to the right is more typical in size in my limited Java experience, the other an unusually thick and robust and seems very capable.

Gavin
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Last edited by Gavin Nugent : 16th July 2020 at 06:48 AM.
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