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 31st October 2020, 06:29 PM   #1
mross
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 464
Default Thoughts on this Keris

Hey all, found this while looking for Barbie's for my wife in an antique shop. Price was to good to pass on. Although it took me a bit to talk myself into it. It looks pretty worn, does seem to have some age. Can't tell if it's meteor iron or not. First look does not appear to be. Definite forging flaws. So what do you all think?
Attached Images
    
mross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2020, 08:19 AM   #2
kai
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,670
Default

Hello Mike,

There is no way of knowing if this keris was forged with meteor iron unless you start full-blown (and partly destructive) scientific material testing which most likely will yield negative or inconclusive results though. From statistics alone, chances for use of meteor iron are slim to none, anyway.

This blade started out as a straight blade and, unfortunately, someone tried to grind the waves into the blade by stock removal; certainly not a traditional approach, sorry.

Regards,
Kai
kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2020, 05:17 PM   #3
mross
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 464
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Hello Mike,

There is no way of knowing if this keris was forged with meteor iron unless you start full-blown (and partly destructive) scientific material testing which most likely will yield negative or inconclusive results though. From statistics alone, chances for use of meteor iron are slim to none, anyway.

This blade started out as a straight blade and, unfortunately, someone tried to grind the waves into the blade by stock removal; certainly not a traditional approach, sorry.

Regards,
Kai

Kai, that makes sense on the luk's. Would explain why they looked a bit off, which was one of the reasons I vacillated on it. I had not thought of a latter modification to a forged blade, good eye. As to meteor iron, it depends on how it was forged. I have seen blades where the Weidmann pattern is still visible. It is not easy to do you can't forge too hot, but I have seen it. I would have to clean it up and give it a ferric bath, might be worthwhile.
mross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2020, 05:52 PM   #4
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,515
Default

Whether the luk were ground or forged later, the blade totally lacks harmony.
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2020, 11:59 PM   #5
mross
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 464
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
Whether the luk were ground or forged later, the blade totally lacks harmony.

That's above my pay grade, have no idea what that means. Could you explain?
mross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2020, 09:29 AM   #6
Jean
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,515
Default

I simply mean that the luks are not evenly spaced and forged, and that the blade has poor proportions.
Personally I am not fully sure that the luks were ground from a straight blade (please draw a line from the middle of the base of the blade to the tip with a ruler on the screen), they may have been forged later by an amateur smith?
Regards
Jean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2020, 05:14 PM   #7
David
Keris forum moderator
 
David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,204
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mross
Kai, that makes sense on the luk's. Would explain why they looked a bit off, which was one of the reasons I vacillated on it. I had not thought of a latter modification to a forged blade, good eye. As to meteor iron, it depends on how it was forged. I have seen blades where the Weidmann pattern is still visible. It is not easy to do you can't forge too hot, but I have seen it. I would have to clean it up and give it a ferric bath, might be worthwhile.

Just a word on meteoric material and keris. As has been pointed out, once forged into a blade you cannot really tell if meteoric iron was used. I am afraid you will have to show me a blade that displays Widmanstätten patterns still visible. If such blades exist it seems likely that a slice of meteorite would have to be added rather late in the process and not really heated to temperature. I certainly have never seen a keris like that.
That said, the percentage of keris that were actually made with meteoric iron are relatively few. These were mostly made starting at the very end of 18th century when remains of the Prambanan meteorite were taken to the Surakarta keraton where it was used for pamor material in a select few keris. The idea that most or even many indonesian are made with meteorite is a bit of a myth, one that has been used to great profit by unscrupulous keris dealers in recent years. Yes, it is a great allure, but impossible to prove and mostly false. The keris you have presented i would have considered collectable if not for the damage inflicted upon it by someone who thought they could improve upon it or make it more desirable by turning the straight blade to wavy through stock reduction methods. But even in its original state it does not seem like the type or quality of old keris one would likely have used meteoric pamor in.
If you do try to clean this up i would not suggest a ferric bath, but rather a more traditional method of using more mild fruit acids. If there is a pamor pattern at all you would then need warangan (a mixture of arsenic and lime) to raise that pattern. But i can pretty much guarantee you will not find any Widmanstätten patterns visible in this blade.
David is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2020, 08:36 PM   #8
A. G. Maisey
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,715
Default

I collaborated closely with Prof. Jerzy Piaskowski for a number of years, about 15 years I think.

Prof. Piaskowski was a noted historical metallurgist and he carried out intensive laboratory investigation of keris and the gonjos of keris. His work was purely academic and not at all the sort of thing we would stumble across in material written for weapons collectors.

I discussed with Jerzy this matter of the detection of meteoritic material in keris several times during the time we were assisting one another.

Prof Piaskowski's opinion was that it was not possible to know with any certainty if material that had been through the forge welding process would have had a meteoritic source.

Further, when meteoritic material did become available to the rulers of Central Jawa towards the end of the 18th century, and was eventually found to be able to be forged and used in practical implements, the availability of this material was limited to people who had a close association with the Surakarta Karaton.

However, apart from that, small amounts of meteoritic material did come on to the market in Central Jawa by way of casual finds by people living in the area where the meteor fell; when it fell it broke apart, and small fragments were spread over a wide area.

When meteoritic material did come on to the market it was very expensive, being very expensive it was not the sort of thing that might be trusted to a village smith, it would have been given to maker capable of producing a top quality product.We cannot expect to find meteoritic material in anything other than keris of exceptional quality.

I own two items that are able to be attributed to Empu Jayasukadgo. Both these items are of very high quality, both display the material characteristics that are traditionally associated with meteoritic material.

I recently cleaned, stained and dressed a keris for a gentleman living in the USA. This keris was also attributable to Jayasukadgo, and also had material that had the same characteristics as the items I have just mentioned.

About 25 years ago I was involved in the making of a keris that used meteoritic material in its pamor, the keris was made by a very talented craftsman in Solo, I forged, welded, cleaned the meteoritic pamor material that was used in this keris. The pamor of this keris displays the characteristics traditionally associated with meteoritic pamor.

There has been quite a lot of investigative work done on pamor and on the materials used in keris, a little bit of time asking Dr. Google some well framed questions will produce a lot of information.
A. G. Maisey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd November 2020, 11:54 PM   #9
mross
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 464
Default

Alan, thanks for that. I agree that unless you can see the pattern you cannot tell what the material is unless you do a in depth metallurgical analysis. Much like working wootz the pattern can disappear if heated to high. Makes you appreciate how good the ancient smiths where. For those wondering what it looks like here is a blade that appeared in Blade magazine, while not a keris it should give you an idea.
Attached Images
 
mross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st November 2020, 09:50 AM   #10
Anthony G.
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 256
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mross
Hey all, found this while looking for Barbie's for my wife in an antique shop. Price was to good to pass on. Although it took me a bit to talk myself into it. It looks pretty worn, does seem to have some age. Can't tell if it's meteor iron or not. First look does not appear to be. Definite forging flaws. So what do you all think?


Looks grind and good keris does not come cheap, at least a few hundred USD. Meteorite iron? Most likely not so.
Anthony G. 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 05:21 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, 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.