Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Keris Warung Kopi
User Name
Password
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12th February 2005, 01:44 PM   #1
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Arrow Balinese kris from Polish Museum

This is next kris from poor collection of National Musuem in my city. This time I tried to find some information about it for myself, according to the sites you recommended me in previous post, and through the databes of this forum also.
Anyway I have some question about this piece, and I hope you'll be able to help me

The sheath is made of wood, covered with repoussed, gilt, open-worked brass plate. There are two rock crystals set as eyes, cut very well, I could even say perfectly. The head is a little damaged becouse of lack of two rivets, at the base. There is only one left with rock crystal (probably?) as well.
What I saw, most of sheaths of this type, were covered with plate which were ornamented with repousse, engraving but not with openwork. From European view I could judge it as made quite good or even very good. The floral design contrasts with black velvet under the plate (except the upper part where velvet is lost). I can say it is made very precisely, because of "shading" with little, very little and fine made lines. Take a look at close-up picture - this flower is only 1 cm long. But the flowers itself could be made better I think and I would judge it as class B. It's only European view, probably abstract from regional opinion - so what do you think about it? The sheath is 42,7 cm long (16,8'')

The Mendak is very small, different from what I saw in similiar krises. But again I'm too inexperienced...

The hilt (ukiran) is of typical Balinese type I think. Are they all so thick? Its measurements are: 12 cm long (4,7'') and 16 cm (6,2'') of girth !!! I can barely fit it to my "normal European size hand" .

And the blade. It's 35,1 cm long (13,8''). I don't know what to think about it. It looks for me almost as damaged with some acid or corrosion? But maybe it just the way it should be? I'm appealing to your great knowledge. BTW - Ganja is 7,8 cm wide (3'').

And few more questions:
1. What is the name of this god/idol at the sheath. Stone's glossary calls it BONASPATTI. Somewhere at this forum you called it Raksa ulu/Raksa hulu, sometimes just as Rice deity and, at last, more often KALA, "symbol of the rainbow leading people to heaven". So what is the truth?

2. Wood: it's probably called peyet. My question is, what are this stains on it. At the warangka it looks very naturally, while at the ukiran it looks more like it was painted or something. I read somewhere a note about gold painting, maybe this is it?

3. I'm intrested in this floral design - what flowers this could be (European ones I could recognize somehow probably )

4. Typical question - is it good or is it bad - for me it's too hard to judge it properly in any way

Thank you in advance and best regards!
Attached Images
            
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2005, 01:46 PM   #2
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Arrow

next photos
Attached Images
   
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2005, 02:19 PM   #3
DAHenkel
Member
 
DAHenkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 125
Default

Wolviex - if this is "poor" then the Polsh National Museum must be a very rich place indeed. This is an extremely fine and old example of a Balinese keris with what is known as a topengan or "mask". There is considerable age to the piece, I'd say mid-19th century or perhaps earlier (for the dress) and the blade could be far older. Most classic "Balinese" blades are much more recent. The earliest examples resemble Javanese keris and this is an excellent example of that.

Topengan, for keris, are a fairly old innovation though very rare. They usually come from Bali (as your Museum's) although they seem to have originated in Java. We have at the ACM an example of a topengan (sans keris) that was recovered from a 15th c. Majapahit site in East Java.

The sheath is of course much later than the blade - again possibly mid-19th century and the hulu is a fine and typical example (cf. Hamzuri, both editions although I don't have the books handy so I can't give a page reference).

The only thing strange about this piece is that the oversheath (and topengan) is on backwards. Normally the topengan would be on the front of the sheath (port side by nautical reckoning). It appears a less than knowledgeable curator of old slipped it on backwards. It is an excellent example and from the looks of it in high grade gold as well.

An outstanding piece and one any museum would be proud to own.
DAHenkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2005, 02:34 PM   #4
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Default

Thank you DAHenkel for this first reply. I must admit I liked this kris very much, but I didn't suppose it could be so good in your opinion. So now I'm waiting for others much more impatiently.
About "oversheath" - yes, you can be right about wrong orientation of this, take a look at third picture from the end, you can see the upper part doesn't fit perfectly to the sheath

And a "poor collection" - that does mean there are not many krises in National Musuem..., it doesn't mean they're not good
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12th February 2005, 03:39 PM   #5
nechesh
Member
 
nechesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 940
Default

Yes,this is certainly an extremely fine example of a gold Balinese over sheath and topengan, however, i would say it is a stretch to call this an extremely fine keris. The blade could be an old Bali blade or perhaps a Javanese one, but it is not very well made. It also appears to be gonjo iras (gonjo and blade are all one piece) which for me implies that when it was made corners were cut to lower costs. This is not the type of blade i would expect to see in this type of dress.Why they ended up together is anybody's guess. That being said the gold pendok and topengan are indeed beautiful and certainly worthy of museum display.
I believe the topengan is intended to be a demon, not a diety, ergo the fangs.
As Dave has suggested, you might want to remove the pendok and turn it around to the other side. For a minor restoration touch you could replace the material that is underneath it with a piece that covers the entire gandar. The wood of the gandar should not be showing through the carved floral work.
nechesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 07:58 AM   #6
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Arrow

Thank you for your replies so far. I want to remind some of my questions asked above: what about wood and floral design - any ideas??

Thank you in advance
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 08:52 AM   #7
tom hyle
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 1,254
Default

OK, first; Of course, I can't be sure with a photo, but I think that's magic marker. I'm serious; that's what the black stuff on the handle is; tell me it's not? If it is, you might get it off with careful solvents or a sharp cabinet scraper without staining or cutting the wood, because there appears to be an original built-up clear finish under it, but you probably don't want to mess with that, under your particular relationship to the piece,as a curator. The black on the sheath is a typical naturally occuring pattern in the wood; it looks like it might be caused by a tree disease (like many interesting patterns), but I don't really know; some woods tend towards colourful localized mineral deposites, too.
I've seen that mask before, on the sheath of an heirloom k(e)ris of an Indonesian restauranteur in Pennsylvania. He said it was there to guard the blade against evil spirits.
I don't know that iras gonja/gonjo iras k(e)ris were traditionally made to cut corners. Admittedly especially with kris sundang, one sees some that are pretty fancy in other ways, if nothing else. It has been my impression that such is kris is ritually/magically different; it is not bounded like an ordinary kris, not divided from the holder, the world; would this make it spiritless allowing the spirit to escape? Or would this have to do with some sort of possession/trance state? Nothing solid, mind you; impressions.
I think where you see a sword type meant as a cheaper version of kris (and one without kris' legal, ethical, religious, social, and magical limitations, as well) is the forward-leaning pedang with the double-edged tip; sorry, but I can only remember its obsolete "Western" name at the moment; the sword formerly known as tempius. Also, with gunong, especially large gunong. Some of these have a very kris-like angling and curvature.
tom hyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 12:43 PM   #8
Battara
EAAF Staff
 
Battara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 5,911
Default

I think the mask is that of deity Bonispatti. The craftmanship on the gold is magnificent. Reminds me of that found on true Mongolian and Tibetan pieces. And that is a lot of gold, thick, not a thin sheet. Are those diamonds? This would make sense since diamonds supposedly conteract poisons. I thought the hilt would have some gold on it as well......
Battara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 02:25 PM   #9
tom hyle
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 1,254
Default

I note a resemblance to a Phillipine (stylized) cobra pommel, which shape it also seems is sometimes used for sheath tips?....
tom hyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 02:32 PM   #10
tom hyle
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 1,254
Default

Hmmm....the more I look at the dark part of the handle, the more I think it is some of that dark spotty grain, and was specially selected to be placed this way on this handle, to form a band around the middle. A nice piece of work, actually. The colour of the wood on the handle is not quite the same as that on the sheath, but that doesn't mean they're not the same specie, or that multiple species may show this.....it looks like a fungus.
You work in a museum. You mayby don't put that white writing on things anymore (?), but maybe you can tell us what it is and how to remove it?
tom hyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 04:31 PM   #11
VANDOO
(deceased)
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: OKLAHOMA, USA
Posts: 3,140
Default

THE WOOD IS NATURAL, THE PIECE SELECTED FOR THE HANDLE IS UNUSUAL IN HOW UNIFORM THE MARKING IS AND WOULD HAVE BEEN SPECIALLY SELECTED. I CAN'T REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE WOOD USED BUT IT IS A VERY DESIRABLE TYPE AND PROBABLY HAS SPECIAL PROPERTYS AS WELL AS BEAUTY. AS TOM POINTED OUT SOME WOODS HAVE PATTERNS AND COLORS CAUSED BY CERTIAN TYPES OF FUNGI, I DON'T KNOW IF THAT IS WHAT CAUSES THE PATTERNS IN THIS TYPE WOOD OR NOT.
THE METAL WORK LOOKS TO BE OF VERY GOOD QUALITY TO ME , I WOULD HAVE EXPECTED A LARGER MEDAK WITH STONE SETS BUT PERHAPS IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE ONE THAT CAME ORIGINALLY WITH THE BLADE. THE SMALL FLOWER YOU SHOW APPEARS TO HAVE HAD A STONE SET AT SOME TIME ARE THERE ANY OTHER SETS? I THINK THE BLADE IS OLDER THAN THE GOLD FITTINGS AND WAS IMPORTANT TO THE OWNER AND WAS GIVEN THE GOLD FITTINGS LATER. IT WOULD BE GOOD TO HAVE THE STONES CHECKED TO SEE WHAT THEY ARE AS DIAMONDS WOULD INCREASE THE VALUE AND NEED FOR MORE INSURANCE. A BEAUTIFUL AND RARE KERIS AND GREAT PICTURES THANKS FOR SHAREING.
VANDOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 04:31 PM   #12
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Arrow

Tom: thank you for your replies. I would like to reassure you, that white painting on the handle is not my work . It was made many years ago, by my predecessors, and I'm sure you would be surprised, what ridiculous places on weapons were chosen to write an museum numbers. This is only white painting, and it's easy to wash off, so nothing to worry. But many weapons are defaced because of thoughtlessness and are in need of conservators.

I think that handle and upper piece of sheath are made of the same wood, but of different tint of colour. I can't be sure it is natural or because of former cleanings. You wrote this black stains looks like fungus, so they should be natural. They look more natural at the sheath, but on the handle they look more like painted, in places even like painted with some kind of band, moistened with dye, and wrapped around the handle. It looks like this, but it's only the feeling of inexperienced man. And this magic, well, it would be intresting, but if you're worry about white painting on the handle, than the vision of my person with the scraper gnashing on the kris, should bring you to heart attack

Battara: this stones, I think, are rock crystals not diamonds. Well, you're next one talking about Bonaspatti/Bonispatti. But everyone have another idea about this deity. Anyway - what for was Bonispatti, or... what are his powers ?? What for the poisoned diamond were ??
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 04:40 PM   #13
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Default

Vandoo:thank you. It would be great if somebody could find the name for this wood. So this stains are natural?!

Because you're second person who asked about diamonds, I'll ask in few days an expert are this rock crystals a diamonds

About the small flower - actually I doubt there could be any stone in there. It is 1 cm long and this little hole in it, is only 1mm big, and to shallow to put anything in there - or I'm just underestimating the art of indonesian craftsmen.
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 05:32 PM   #14
nechesh
Member
 
nechesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 940
Default

Sorry guys, but i just have to say it again. This is NOT a particularly good keris. You all seem to getting blinded by all that beautiful gold. The pendok is indeed exquisite, but the more i look at it the more i am convinced that it wasn't made for this sheath (nor the sheath to fit the pendok) but is merely adapted to fit. Again, why these pieces have come together is open to opinion, but i maintain that they don't belong together. Note how badly the mask fits, how much it rises above the top of the sheath. And as Jose points out, wouldn't a dress like this most likely have a more elaborate hilt. This hilt is a fine example of it's type but very ordinary really. Everything in this ensemble is, in fact, grossly out shone by the gold pendok. It's like those IQ test questions they give you where they group a number of things and ask which one does not belong. What is out of place here?
nechesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 07:18 PM   #15
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Unhappy This was beautiful day... it was...

Thank you nechesh for your sincerity - you've just ruined my Sunday... just kidding...
So we got here very ordinary kris, with a little older blade, and superb, excellent, not-fitting-to-all-of these sheath. That's not to bad at all.

Waiting for more opinions
Best regards
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2005, 07:43 PM   #16
nechesh
Member
 
nechesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 940
Default

No Wolviex. not bad. In fact, i'll bet i could probably buy more than one nice keris with the profits from that pendok alone. It is a very nice piece.
nechesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2005, 06:39 AM   #17
John
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Land below the wind
Posts: 135
Default

The wood looks to be pelet and the figure appears to be Boma, an earth guardian for warding off evil entities as Tom surmises. Sometimes seen with finger claws. An example could be seen in the book "Royal gifts from Indonesia".
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2005, 08:41 AM   #18
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Question I don't know what to think all about it

Bonispatti/Bonaspatti/Rice deity/Raksa/Kala are all these deities the same deity I'm getting really confused. Everybody call it in different way.

One more name and I'll use polling option of this forum
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2005, 11:15 AM   #19
DAHenkel
Member
 
DAHenkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 125
Default

I am afraid I am going to have to disagree strongly with most of the comments made to date regarding this keris.

Please note first off that this particular style of keris is a typical and well documented one in the Balinese stable and such hilts are the norm. Figural hilts do occur but they in fact are the exception rather than the rule with the godoan (gayaman) sheath style. Assuming that a relatively "plain" hilt style is incorrect and thus a later addition is completely unfounded. Just because the piece has a gold pendok does not dictate that it must therefore have a fancy golden hilt as well. In fact, as this example shows, quite the opposite was just as often the case.

Unlike we modern Philistines, who can't appreciate anything unless its studded with gold and precious stones, previous generations of keris lovers clearly had a great love for the qualities of wood. Note first of all the extraordinary precision and finess of the workmanship of the hilt and the rare beauty of the wood grain used to make it. (No Tom, its not magic marker)You will not find another one like it in a thousand. Juxtaposed against the flash and finery of the gold pendok, the wood stands up on its own and provides a contrast for and a foil to the precious metals. Sadly, this sort of subtlety is lost on most today.

There are several documented examples of kerises simmilar to the one Wolviex posted. Images in Hamzuri (1983) Fig's 11 - 14, pp 110-12 and Hamzuri (1984) pp's 33 and 43, (Note that the image on p. 33 is reversed due to an upside down negative, the same piece on p. 43 is correct) document a pair of examples in the Indonesian National Museum's collection, while Van Duuren's bibliography has another fantastic example from the Tropen on p. 72, which is also shown in the Orange Nassau book as well.

Topengan are generally held to be representations of the divine demon Kala, in some areas also refered to as Banaspati (pron. Bonaspati). Kala was a powerful protective figure believed to have been appointed by Shiva as a temple guardian.

As for the blade of this piece. Clearly it is of a far "inferior" quality of workmanship to some of the flashier examples of Balinese keris. That said, many of you seem to have forgotten the mystical side of keris belief and the fact that sometimes quite ordinary blades were held in extremely high esteem. Sometimes these were highly prized heirloom piece, or were believed to be of some considerable age or perhaps were held to be particularly powerful talismans. The quality of the workmanship of the blade is often - as it very well could be in this case - completely independent of the rest of the keris and assuming that such a keris is a fabrication completely misses the mark.

The one image posted that shows the fit of the blade is not perfect but does indicate a good fit. Perhaps Wolviex could post another picture or two showing the fit of the blade in the scabbard before we go assuming the piece is a re-fit. I'd be rather surprised in the case of this keris that a relatively small, early and more Javanese-like blade would be large enough to completely fill the cavity left by a more typical Balinese blade. Its rare enough to find a re-fit that works perfectly (although of course it must have happened, nor would we know it eh?) and in this case I suspect darn near impossible. Also, it would be interesting and useful to know when this keris entered the collection and whether it was an aquisition or a donation.

Last edited by DAHenkel : 14th February 2005 at 11:36 AM.
DAHenkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2005, 05:21 PM   #20
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Arrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAHenkel
Perhaps Wolviex could post another picture or two showing the fit of the blade in the scabbard before we go assuming the piece is a re-fit.


Yes, yes, yes. I'll do it. I wanted to do it earlier, but just forgot. There is something what should explain something, I hope. I'll try to do it tomorrow.
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2005, 11:53 PM   #21
John
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Land below the wind
Posts: 135
Smile Topengan

Was looking into a few more references and it does appear examples of this type have been overwhelmingly refered to as "Bonaspati" eg by Tammens, Jensen (Den Indonesiske Kris), and Stone. Duuren mentions Banaspati, a cannibal lord of the forest... Nevertheless similar masks/heads have been referred to as Boma or Kala elsewhere. Do a google on "Boma" and you'll see what I mean...
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2005, 12:27 AM   #22
nechesh
Member
 
nechesh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 940
Default

Dave, you are, of course, right on many fronts. One thing i would like to see if Wolviex deems it a possibility, is the pendok put the proper way on the sheath. It just adds to the mismatched look of things the way it is. It would do no damage to the piece an would allow us to see if this pendok was really made for this sheath.
Now Dave, you are right, this keris could have some mystical attributes that made it's owner value it highly and indeed, he may have decided to honor it with this elaborately beautiful dress. The true value of any keris can ONLY be assessed by it's owner, plain and simple. That being said, i was reacting to the general gush of comments that said "beautiful keris". Not being the owner, knowing the history, etc. i can only respond to it from what i know and can see. I can only gauge this keris against the general criteria for what makes a good keris as we here in this community have discussed many times over. This appears to me to be (sorry wolviex, cover your ears ) a keris of inferior workmanship in only a fair state of condition. In my view, not a beautiful keris. You can certainly compare the dress of the keris on pg. 72 in van Duuren's Critical Bibliography, and your point about the hulu is well noted. Wolviex's example is a fine representation of this form, no doubt and as can be seen in van Duuren, an exceptable hilt for such a dress. But please don't compare the blades here. The example in van Duuren is a truely exquisite blade.Beautiful workmanship. The same can not be said for Wolviex's example. Any reference to mystical power is purely conjecture.
nechesh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2005, 02:25 PM   #23
Mick
Member
 
Mick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Orlando
Posts: 104
Default

The wood is Pelet which when used by affectionatos needs no extra embellishment. Even the pieces in the treasure room at the museum in Jarkarta which are topped with hilts containing rose cut diamonds the size of my thumbnail show an open pelet front face although they are backed with a gold (pendock) for want of another word. The attached is a representive sample of fine Balinese Pelet.
Attached Images
 
Mick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2005, 07:23 PM   #24
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Arrow

Mick: your sheath is beautiful, it's made entire with Pelet wood, while this from Museum has only wrangka made of this wood.

Ok, few more precise informations.

One of the experts in museum was kind enough to check the stones on the pendok for me. He was looking, checking, microscoping, and he said this are VERY HIGH QUALITY ROCK CRYSTALS! Not diamonds, but very high quality rock crystals sounds not bad

Nechesh: I will refit the pendok if it is only possible. I won't do it alone, and I want a conservator to do it - he's got tools, experience, and he is an expert anyway. So this must wait, but if we will do it, I'll post a picture.

John: thank you for the Boma hint . It's next name for the collection , but this time there are many more hits at google. And google don't lies...

And here are the additional photos of the sheath. You can clearly see, that corners of the entrance to the sheath are piece on. DAHenkel, is this what you wanted me to show you?
Attached Images
    
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2005, 09:11 PM   #25
Mick
Member
 
Mick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Orlando
Posts: 104
Default

Wolviex

I think that is just what Dave was looking for. The sheath shows that the front part of the opening was plugged and then recut for this piece. Therefore the sheath was not made for this keris. The rear portion is somewhat ambiguous.

Correct that; the rear portion also shows a plug, but the beat up area in front of it ends well before the original cutout.

Last edited by Mick : 15th February 2005 at 09:25 PM.
Mick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th February 2005, 09:44 PM   #26
DAHenkel
Member
 
DAHenkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 125
Default

Precisely Mick.

Why this happened is a matter for speculation. Item of keris dress were often sold off or exchanged for various reasons. Economic distress etc. etc.

This we know.

What we don't know is why this blade was fitted to this particular sheath. There can be two possibilities.

One is that the dress was sold off to an "antique dealer" who refitted the blade for sale to a "tourist" or in this case, a museum curator it appears. Why this blade was chosen is a bit of a mystery. After all the dealer would stand to profit more by using a finer blade but perhaps he was relying or speculating on the ignorance of his clientele.

The other possibility is that this was a more "traditional" exchange where one Balinese sold the dress to another. Perhaps someone wanted to dress this particular blade in finer clothing but saw the second hand dress as a better value than commissioning a new set.

The only clues we have are the relatively careful and neat job done to re-fit the blade, which was not always done, particularly for tourist keris. And of course, the blade itself.

I would contend however that there is more than meets the eye with this blade. It is not a "bad" keris in the normal sense of the word IMO. It has clearly got some age to it and has been well cared for in the normal way. The unusual aspects of this keris include the ganja iras and the curious "pitting" effect of one type of metal on the blade paticularly around the dapur area.

You must also understand that traditionally, ganja iras was neither common nor undesirable. Real, old keris ganja iras are quite rare although certainly not impossible to find and were considered to have special magickal properites. It is not just a "cheap shortcut" way of making a blade.

You must realise of course that I am not "defending" this blade on aesthetic grounds, though to an extent it does have that certain something that nice old blades can have when they're well looked after. What I am against is the notion that just because, to our Western eye this keris is not up to the standard of the dress, that this was necessarily so for the Balinese.
DAHenkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th February 2005, 03:19 PM   #27
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Question

Thank you all for help!
DAHenkel, your concrete and complex replies are very helpful. Writing about curious "pitting" effect you mean probably - let's call it - visible "ironmoulds". Maybe I'll try to post another picture of the other side of the blade, there, as you will see, this "pittings" are almost regular. Well, I don't think these are real corosion ironmoulds, do you think it's made with acid, any other ideas ??

And returning to my questions form the beginning of this thread. The hilt is very thick, that can barely fit to my hand. Are all the balinese hilts of this type so thick ? It's very uncomfortable, even if it was used only for representation purposes.

Thank you in advance!
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2005, 05:33 PM   #28
wolviex
Member
 
wolviex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Poland, Krakow
Posts: 418
Arrow

Photos I promised to post: another side of blade with visible, almost regular in some part of the blade stains/pittings. And close-up photo of one of them.

So any ideas what it could be, and how it was made?
Attached Images
  
wolviex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2005, 09:04 PM   #29
Radu Transylvanicus
Member
 
Radu Transylvanicus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: 2008-2010 Bali, 1998-2008 USA
Posts: 271
Default

Gee, Wolviex I keep admiring how these nice Malay pieces come out of the Polish museums, I think I solved the mistery ... hmm I am wondering if some sort of Przewalski guy from your hometown fall for some Balinese erotic dancer and when she run away he got mad and try to find some local stuff to beat the crap out of her and then the European in him brought it all back to Polska ... lol , forgive me I got carried away by envy ...
Radu Transylvanicus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2005, 09:46 PM   #30
Ian
Vikingsword Staff
 
Ian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The Aussie Bush
Posts: 2,425
Default

Wolviex:

I refrain from commenting on keris because I am most ignorant with respect to these weapons. But that's a very interesting pattern you show on the blade. It reminds me of the "ladder" effect seen on some Indo-Persian wootz blades. Do you think the blade pattern here is caused by a similar forging process?

Ian.
Ian 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

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 03:51 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
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.