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Old 4th July 2018, 09:48 AM   #1
Bjorn
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Default Kikik added to an older blade?

Hello all,

I have a small keris with a kikik, which I recently cleaned. After cleaning, I noticed a line going across the sorsoran, starting at the neck of the kikik and then cutting across the sokogan depan. This line is found on both sides of the blade.

Does this mean that the blade has been altered in some way? Perhaps to add a kikik to a blade that originally didn't have one?

Apologies for the poor photos, I took them in sub-optimal lighting conditions with my cell phone, but I hope they're enough to convey the meaning of my query.
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Old 7th July 2018, 10:55 AM   #2
kai
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Hello Bjorn,

Quote:
I have a small keris with a kikik, which I recently cleaned. After cleaning, I noticed a line going across the sorsoran, starting at the neck of the kikik and then cutting across the sokogan depan. This line is found on both sides of the blade.

I agree that this is a very unusual construction!


Quote:
Does this mean that the blade has been altered in some way? Perhaps to add a kikik to a blade that originally didn't have one?

It does look suspicious - however, a waving red flag would be pretty counterproductive for concealing any add-on...

From what I can glean from the pics, the lower part of the kikik seems to be continous with the central part of the blade on both sides and there also doesn't seem to be a seam across the kikik either. Good close-ups, especially of the standard side (i. e. gandik pointing left), might help.

A full stain might also help to differentiate different iron alloys. (I'm not convinced the gonjo is original.)

Regards,
Kai
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Old 16th July 2018, 07:47 PM   #3
Bjorn
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Thank you for the response, Kai, and my apologies regarding my tardy response.

I've attempted to take some better photos, hopefully these will be able to shed some light on the matter.

Like you said, it would be strange to wave a red flag around like this. Perhaps the pandai besi was just not that skilled
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Old 16th July 2018, 09:35 PM   #4
A. G. Maisey
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Bjorn, based upon the evidence of the photos, I am not able to give a solid opinion on this matter. I would need to handle the keris, and examine it under magnification.

But I can give a tentative opinion, and in that opinion I will say that this singo barong was not added to the blade at some time after its original manufacture.

I have seen and owned several keris where either a singo barong or a naga had been added after the original manufacture. In all cases the way in which this had been done was to forge weld a small piece of compatible material into place, and to make the border of the singo or naga the border of the added material. I owned one such keris for a long time, 20 years or more, before I noticed the joint.

According to one point of view, the adding of a singo barong, or naga, or other motif to a keris is not something that detracts from a keris, but rather something that enhances the keris in the sense that it reveals something of the history of the keris and a previous owner. If a man were to be raised to a position where the addition of a SB to the keris that he wore would be a positive re-enforcement, but he wished for one reason or another to continue to use his habitual keris, then his course of action would be to have an empu add the SB motif and to do so with proper ritual.

The commonly encountered attitude amongst collectors who are not a part of Javanese keris culture is that such an addition must have been done in order to raise the value of the keris so it can give bigger profit. In my opinion this is very often a misguided opinion that has been formed by somebody who does not understand the economics of such an alteration, nor the economics of the market place.

I feel that perhaps the irregularity in pamor distribution that is shown in your keris is the result of some layers of pamor having lifted and peeled away from the core.
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Old 17th July 2018, 03:23 PM   #5
Sajen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
But I can give a tentative opinion, and in that opinion I will say that this singo barong was not added to the blade at some time after its original manufacture.

I feel that perhaps the irregularity in pamor distribution that is shown in your keris is the result of some layers of pamor having lifted and peeled away from the core.


Hello Bjorn,

I would agree with the both statements from Alan.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 17th July 2018, 07:32 PM   #6
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Alan, Detlef, thank you both for your replies.

Regarding alterations made to a wilah, I'm of the opinion that intent is the crucial factor here - even though there are times when the true intention may never be known to us.

If an alteration was made by an owner to mark an occasion in his life, then I feel that adds to the keris. If it was done by a merchant in order to fetch a higher price, then I feel it detracts from the keris, at least in some measure.

As regards this blade, I've always found it very charming but my curiosity was piqued after I noticed those lines running through the sogokan.
If the kikik was added at a later date, then I'd still be charmed by this keris.
If it happens to be original, then I'd be charmed just a little bit more.
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Old 17th July 2018, 09:08 PM   #7
A. G. Maisey
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Yes Bjorn, intent is the crucial factor.

If an alteration is undertaken by a merchant, that merchant's intent is very probably to increase his profit. I doubt that anybody would argue with this.

However, if we consider the cost of an alteration such as the placement of a figure --- naga, singo, puthut --- into the body of a keris, by the use of forge techniques, then we are looking at a cost that would negate any increase in profit.

This is not to say that such profit driven alterations did not take place (note:- past tense) but when they did occur the work was invariably crude, or crudely disguised, usually by a profusion of gold that covered the joints.
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Old 18th July 2018, 06:45 AM   #8
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Thanks, Alan. That is useful information, especially for one who is not all that familiar with the economic benefits and costs associated with such alterations.
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