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Old 22nd October 2020, 07:59 AM   #1
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Default Janggelan Hilt

It has been quiet so I thought I would post this very worn keris and see what the group has to say. It was in very bad condition so I have been using it to learn about restoration of keris. I know very little about the blade. The hilt I believe to be a well carved and deeply cracked Jangelan hilt made of a black horn. Is the motif at the base of the hilt considered to be a tumpal even though it is a rounded shape? At the top on each side there a design that reminds me of a scorpion. I do not know if the selut (angkup randu) and mendak are original to the hilt or if the blade belongs to the hilt assembly.

The wrangka is ladrang style made of timoho wood. Thanks to the holes in the wrangka it can be seen the color goes through the piece and was not painted on. There is a "74" written in ink on the back of the gandar. It was dry and cracked through in several places. The larger splits were filled with wood glue and clamped. The incomplete splits were shored up with cyanoacrylate.

The hilt and wrangka were treated with many coats of raw linseed. the blade was rubbed with a mixture of mineral oil and sandalwood. The hilt cracks did not close up but seem to have stabilized.

Should the blade undergo a vinegar soak and a complete clean or is it more correct for it to be left as is? Any other thoughts, comments, or insights would be appreciated.

I will load the most current photos first.
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Old 22nd October 2020, 08:07 AM   #2
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Default Before and during the repairs.

Before pictures. The glue up. And a picture of the "74."
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Old 22nd October 2020, 09:55 PM   #3
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Not a real bad keris IP, and totally capable of a satisfactory restoration.

It seems you have already attacked the restoration of the scabbard so read what I will write as advice for future projects.

The best adhesive to use on keris scabbards is 5 minute epoxy. Where it is necessary to clamp a glue job old nylon stockings work very well, cords and similar tend to bruise the timber. PVA glues should be avoided, the residue is not friendly to ferric material. Where a glued joint cannot be made invisible, make it a visible natural feature of the wood by tinting with artists colour powder, burnt umber will satisfy most requirements.

Where it has been necessary to carry out extensive repairs involving glued joints, an oil finish is not a good idea, over time the oil penetrates the wood and weakens the joint. A good finish is Danish oil or similar, which dries into a polymer, the glossy finish can be dulled down by careful use of 0000 steel wool. I used to have a lot of liking for hand rubbed oil finishes, I learnt how to do a London oil finish for rifle stocks when I was still a little kid. For firearms used in the foggy Scottish Highlands I reckon a hand rubbed oil finish would probably be the very best finish you could use, especially when that 12G is out every day, but for nearly everything else there are much better finishes available now. One big problem with a hand rubbed oil finish for a keris scabbard is that it has a tendency to generate mildew, not nice if you oil something, put it away safely, take it out 6 months later and you're faced with mildew.

Holes like the one in the side of this gandar can be remedied by building up with layers of paper-thin wood --- best material is slivers of bamboo --- and tinted epoxy resin. An easier fix, and the one most used in Jawa is to fit a pendok. A very large number of really sexy looking dress keris have absolutely appalling gandars under those gem studded pendoks --- the ordinary everyday kerises in constant use are even worse.

The hilt:- are you sure it is horn? This type of hilt when black is usually one of the ebonys, and ebony can be pretty susceptible to cracking. It is probably not repairable, but judicious long term application of hand-rubbed medicinal paraffin can assist in preventing it from getting worse.

The motif I can see which looks like a sort of bow cannot be classified as a tumpal motif.

The selut is not angkup randu, it is just a selut, not at all unusual in this type of hilt, the mendak is angkup randu, and because it is without any ornamentation it can be classified as "Angkup Randhu Polos", angkup randhu translates as "unopened bud of kapok", "polos" means "plain, unadorned".

The photos are not good enough nor large enough for me to be too certain about the blade, but on what I can see, it looks pretty OK, certainly worth a careful cleaning, as has often been detailed in this Forum.
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Old 23rd October 2020, 01:42 AM   #4
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While somewhat similar in shape, i am not sure that this hilt form you show can be classified as Janggelan. Maybe others have a different opinion.
Here is an excellent thread to show collections of janggelan hilts.
http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=14425
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Old 23rd October 2020, 03:36 AM   #5
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David, 40 or 50 years ago I think I might have agreed with you that this hilt form is not really a janggelan, but then, I would not have had any other Indonesian name to to give it. However, in recent years it seems to me that most people do currently refer to this form as janggelan, and again, I do not know another name for it. Personally I'm happy enough to go with the flow on this one.
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Old 12th January 2021, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
David, 40 or 50 years ago I think I might have agreed with you that this hilt form is not really a janggelan, but then, I would not have had any other Indonesian name to to give it. However, in recent years it seems to me that most people do currently refer to this form as janggelan, and again, I do not know another name for it. Personally I'm happy enough to go with the flow on this one.


Not only in "Persona Hulu Keris" is this hilt style described as janggelan, also in other books like in Suhartono Rahardjos "ragam Hulu Keris" is this style described as janggelan.

I also have some hilts of this style in my collection. Like Alan I guess that the hilt from IP is from ebony, I've never seen one from horn.

I am the only one who see by this particular janggelan style a "floral face" by some of them?
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Old 23rd October 2020, 06:04 AM   #7
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Alan and David thank you for your time and input

Mr. Maisey thanks for the tips I will put them into my arsenal. Attached to this reply are better quality photos of the blade I hope. I grew up in a temperate area that was said to remind the highlanders of their home so I guess that may be the reason I was taught rubbed oil finishes originally. I remember the mildew that guns would get if they weren't taken out of the cabinets and cleaned regularly. Now I live in an area that has a climate close to the Gibson desert of Australia, except maybe its slightly drier and a colder winter here. When I build a display as continue the home remodel I have been planning to include humidor like features.
The hilt being horn was speculation on how the inside looked when I originally disassembled it. The inside has a lighter washed out look that went away with rehydration. Originally I thought it was ebony and will defer to your expertise on the subject. I have been following the instructions of an old thread and diligently applying raw linseed to the hilt (and everything else i own due to the dryness here) Will the paraffin work more effectively?

David thanks for the clarification. I identified the hilt using old threads.
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Old 23rd October 2020, 08:05 AM   #8
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Don't defer to anything IP, test the hilt:- use a very thin panel pin --- a lot of people use a needle, I don't because what you will do will ruin a needle, a panel pin costs next to nothing and you can throw it away. Grip the head of the panel pin with pliers and heat to point to red, stick that red hot pin into a hidden part of the hilt , maybe inside the tang hole, is the smell like burnt hair or like burnt wood?

As to what oil you use, I used to use linseed boiled and unboiled, for lots of things, these days I use it less. For horn I like medicinal paraffin. Other things are good too, like lanolin or lanolin based leather conditioners, but paraffin is cheap, easy to get, easy to use, works well.

Yeah, spend time on the blade, it is worth it.
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Old 24th October 2020, 07:56 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=David]While somewhat similar in shape, i am not sure that this hilt form you show can be classified as Janggelan. Maybe others have a different opinion.

According to several authors, a janggelan hilt is described as having the shape of a pine cone or corn cob, so I would not classify this one as janggelan type but just floral, but it is only my opinion.
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Old 24th October 2020, 11:26 AM   #10
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You're right Jean, "janggelan" does mean "like a corn cob", but it also means "like the bones in a horse's tail bone" , yes, I know that a horse's tail is all long hair, but that hair grows from flesh supported by a tail bone, not unlike a human tail bone.

The reason that in East Jawa these rather tubular hilts are called janggelan is because of the texture of the hilt, both a corn cob and the bones from a horse's tail bone display grooves and channels, sometimes quite close in appearance to a corn cob after it has been stripped of seeds, sometimes with deep relief that we can see reflected in some of the carving found on these tubular janggelans.

In fact, there is not just a single type of janggelan, for example, those roughly triangular shaped Madura bird hilts are also janggelan hilts, they call them "Janggelan Bangau" in East Jawa, "bangau" is a kind of egret. All these variations have names, but I don't know them all.

I did not get this name "janggelan" from any book, it is the name that a m'ranggi in Solo whom I knew very well gave them, and also a Solo tukang jejeran used the same name for them, and people in Malang & Surabaya whom I have bought from also used this name.

I do not know any other name for this hilt style.

There is a very good book on hilts that was written by a gentleman whose name I have forgotten, his second name is Wiryadi I think. This man is from East Jawa and my memory is that he was introduced to keris collecting by his father in law, a Mr. Gondomono, who was very famous keris collector. This Mr. Gondomono, I believe, is the same Mr. Gondomono whom I met in Malang many years ago, I think he was a tailor(?) and I believe he had a special interest in Madura keris.

Anyway, this book written by Mr. Wiryadi might be worth looking at, because I'm pretty sure it extends the name "janggelan" to hilts other than the well known corn cob style. I've lent my copy to friend and cannot check it myself at the moment.

I actually do not have a carved-in-stone opinion on the correct name for this type of hilt, but until I do develop such an opinion, I think I'll follow the lead of the numerous people whom I have met who know more than I do on this particular subject.
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Old 12th January 2021, 10:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interested Party
The hilt cracks did not close up but seem to have stabilized.


I've closed cracks in hilts successfully with a long bath in linseed oil and let drying again, even ivory!
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Old 12th January 2021, 11:10 PM   #12
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Around 50 years ago I bought a Balinese carving from Makassar ebony in a shop on Queensland's Gold Coast, it is about a 5" cube. I got it cheap because it had a long crack that at its widest was about 5/16ths of an inch.

I soaked this carving in boiled linseed for an extended period, I forget how long, but I waited until the crack had closed.

That crack is still closed.
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Old 12th January 2021, 11:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
I've closed cracks in hilts successfully with a long bath in linseed oil and let drying again, even ivory!


Thanks I wondered but was afraid to try a submersion. I will give it a try when I clean the blade this spring after it warms up. I also collected around a cup of pinyon pine resin to help reset some blades. My down time in the spring should be interesting if I make it that far.
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Old 13th January 2021, 01:08 AM   #14
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IP. we normally do not use any adhesive to fit a blade to a hilt, it is a pressure fit only, and has been for a very long time.

The exception is keris that might have been used as weapons, and occasionally we do come across an old blade that has been fixed to the hilt with jabung --- hard resin + wax + terracotta dust --- but very often this has been done because the pesi is residual and not sufficient to support a pressure fit.

I strongly recommend against any sort of permanent or semi permanent fixing of a hilt to a blade. Apart from anything else this will impact on value, some buyers will not buy a keris until they have seen the pesi.

The best material to use for a pressure fit is knitting wool.
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Old 13th January 2021, 03:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
IP. we normally do not use any adhesive to fit a blade to a hilt, it is a pressure fit only, and has been for a very long time.

The exception is keris that might have been used as weapons, and occasionally we do come across an old blade that has been fixed to the hilt with jabung --- hard resin + wax + terracotta dust --- but very often this has been done because the pesi is residual and not sufficient to support a pressure fit.

I strongly recommend against any sort of permanent or semi permanent fixing of a hilt to a blade. Apart from anything else this will impact on value, some buyers will not buy a keris until they have seen the pesi.

The best material to use for a pressure fit is knitting wool.


Sorry I should have been clearer the cutler resin is for non keris repairs.

Knitting wool for keris. I would not have thought about that. My bad writing has paid off again.
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