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Old 23rd March 2024, 07:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Default Bali Keris Info & Advice Requested

Hi All,

This keris has what looks to me to be a rather straight forward, good quality, Balinese blade with good age. I count 15 luk and the blade is about 17.75” (45.085cm) long with a kelap lintah ganja. The only odd thing is the orange and black pigments in the fullers. The black pigment is barely visible and is in the fuller that terminates with the pecitan. Do the pigments have a culturally symbolic significance?
The hilt and sheath (especially the hilt) are really strange. The hilt (which appears to be on backwards) is so odd that at first I dismissed it as just something somebody stuck on the blade so they could sell it but the brass (or bronze) selut seems to be designed for a keris tang and it fits the hilt. For all its strangeness, the hilt appears to have been made with care. The brass pommel has been affixed with two screws that have been filed down so that the screw slots are mostly missing. There is a 1/8” diameter hole through the pommel that doesn’t extend into the wood. The hilt is very firmly attached. Normally, I would just use a heat gun to heat the blade by the tang to loosen the hilt so I could turn it around but, in this case I’m afraid to damage the paint on the blade. I was thinking of wrapping the blade in wet cloth and using an attachment on my heat gun to restrict the heat to the tang/selut area. What does everybody think about that?
Unless the wranka is made with an extension (like some Sumatran sheaths) that is covered by the hilt wrap, the sheath appears to be sarong iras. The front of the wranka shows kadjo pelet coloration and the back has a black pigmented inline border. The blade fits reasonably well in the wranka. The hilt wrap appears to be some sort of fabric (maybe even friction tape) that has been very neatly spiral wrapped around the gandar. There is some black pigment showing above the wrap on the back of the gandar. Something may have been attached to the bottom of the gandar (see blurry photo attached) but I have no idea what it could have been.

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Last edited by RobT; 23rd March 2024 at 07:25 PM. Reason: grammar & add'l info
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