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Old 7th July 2019, 02:14 PM   #1
Athanase
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Default Keris with nice Naga Kinatah blade for comments

Hello,

Here is my last bet (a little crazy).
I bought this Keris without seeing the blade, seduced only by the delicacy of the details of the handle and the sheath that seemed very old and atypical. But there was no picture of the blade, only a description that said: blade ornamented with leaves with remains of gilding and pamor.

Now that I have Keris in my hands, I notice that the wrangka is not adapted to this blade. The wrangka has a style that makes me think that it dates from the first half of the nineteenth century or before. By dismounting the Pendok (Banyumas?) I found an old collection numbers in Indian ink.
I have the feeling that the base of Wrangka has been filed to fit the pendok.
I suspect that originally the sheath was made of one (or two) piece of wood, without pengok, and that the lower part was damaged, it was cut and replaced by a light wood covered with a pendok.

The blade with Naga, kinatah and his atractive pamor is very nice but more recent (I think).
The description let me think of a blade with much simpler decorations so it was a real surprise when I saw the blade.
I don't test the gold, but it's very different and much finer than the kinatah made of brass that I could see.
What period could date this blade?
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Old 7th July 2019, 02:20 PM   #2
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Old 7th July 2019, 02:34 PM   #3
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Excellent bet! The hilt (buta bajang style) and the wrangka (perahu style) are from Cirebon/ Java North Coast and the pendok seems from this area also.
IMO the blade is old, the pamor pattern and the carving are very fine, from 19th century? Ex-museum piece?
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Old 7th July 2019, 07:14 PM   #4
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Hello SÚverin,

Congrats, another excellent acquisition!

IMVHO this blade is considerably older than the 19th c.; very good quality forging as well as sculpturing/kinatah, too.

The hilt exhibits really good workmanship. Not one of the very early hilts but a really good example with interesting details. Could you post larger pics of all sides (and the top), please?

The blade, selut, and hilt are a really fitting ensemble and may well be original.

The top/crosspiece of the scabbard seems to be intact; the stem is often crudely shaped when a pendok is covering it originally. Only close inspection may allow to verify whether the stem and/or the pendok got added later.

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Kai
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Old 7th July 2019, 07:14 PM   #5
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The blade fits quite well into the wrongko, the gandar was probably replaced indeed but it is not visible. I am not familiar with this style of nice pendok.
There seems to be some tiny writings on the gilt deer on one side?
The naga and carvings look younger than the blade itsef (naga body especially) but it may be just an impression.
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Old 7th July 2019, 07:22 PM   #6
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I don't think so, Jean. The blade exhibiting the pamor just got (over-)cleaned and etched recently.

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Kai
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Old 7th July 2019, 07:24 PM   #7
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P.S.: Many collectors catalog their pieces and also mark them; thus, a number does not automatically suggest a former museum collection.
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Old 7th July 2019, 07:44 PM   #8
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Beautiful, very beautiful keris @@
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Old 7th July 2019, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
The blade fits quite well into the wrongko, the gandar was probably replaced indeed but it is not visible. I am not familiar with this style of nice pendok.
There seems to be some tiny writings on the gilt deer on one side?
The naga and carvings look younger than the blade itsef (naga body especially) but it may be just an impression.
Regards


The fiting of the blade in the wrangka is not very good, the tip of the Ganja is a bit too wide and you have to force a bit to insert the blade completely.
On the deer, it's just fine line features that in my opinion are meant to represent the fur of the animal.
The body of the naga has been designed since the manufacture of the blade (I think) because it's very raised compared to the "flat" of the blade.

And thank you all for yours comments.

Last edited by Athanase : 7th July 2019 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 7th July 2019, 10:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
The fiting of the blade in the wrangka is not very good, the tip of the Ganja is a bit too wide and you have to force a bit to insert the blade completely.

A very nice keris SÚverin. From my perspective it matters little whether the gandar was replaced or not. Such things happen in the life of a keris. Personally i think collectors tend to place too much emphasis of whether keris dress is completely original or not. I would place more weight on whether it is "appropriate". This ensemble looks pretty nice to me.
As to the fit, i have found that even some Jawa keris have blades that sometimes sit a little bit "proud" in their sheaths. In your case i simple allow that to be the case rather then forcing the blade to seat deeper in the opening, especially given the residual kinatah which you are quite likely to further chip away at if you keep forcing the blade into place.
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Old 7th July 2019, 10:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
IMVHO this blade is considerably older than the 19th c.; very good quality forging as well as sculpturing/kinatah, too.

The blade, selut, and hilt are a really fitting ensemble and may well be original.

Kai, i agree with most of your assessment, but i am curious what leads you to believe that this blade is "considerably" older than 19th century and also what you mean when you say "considerably".
Also, i see a mendak here, albeit an unusual one, not a selut.
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Old 8th July 2019, 04:20 AM   #12
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I think I can see a nice older keris with a very nice hilt, but for a keris that presents as this one does I am not able to give any further opinion on the blade without holding it in my hand and subjecting to microscopic examination.

The hilt is very nice indeed.
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:01 AM   #13
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Well, everybody agrees that this a very nice and rare old kris!
The blade was over-cleaned (mechanically?, some rust spots are still visible) but not etched recently I think. Regarding its age, 19th century starts on year 1800 so I doubt that it is "considerably" older.
I would have hoped that Alan could say a little more about this piece even if it is difficult from the pictures.
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:15 AM   #14
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Hello SÚverin,

Beautiful keris! I am a little bit jealous. I think that the sarung fit the blade well enough. Regarding the age, certainly 19th century but could be older, who knows. Please turn the hilt a little bit more to the left.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:31 AM   #15
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Jean, I avoided the use of the word "old", I used "older" instead.

Frankly I'm troubled by two things, the pamor and the type of applied gold.

It is absolutely impossible for me to form an opinion on this keris from a photograph.
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Old 8th July 2019, 08:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey

Frankly I'm troubled by two things, the pamor and the type of applied gold.



Thank you Alan. As a French I am not famliliar with the term "older" as we only know it as "older than" (Harrap's dictionary).
Could you please elaborate a bit (in broad terms) about what troubles you with the pamor and applied gold, and does it affect your age estimate or anything else about this piece?
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Old 8th July 2019, 09:57 AM   #17
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Jean, I apologise for being unable to comment further.

I have already said twice that I will not comment on a keris like this on the basis of photos, and I am not going to hang out a string of hypotheticals that would need more explanation than I am prepared to give in a forum that is open to the whole wide world.

I can understand that use of "older" in this way could be confusing. I'm sorry. You could think of it like this:-

an older vehicle, an older person, an older form of speech, an older type of cooking.

it is a general comparison, we are not saying that the vehicle is necessarily an "old" vehicle, but rather that it is no longer a new vehicle.

My use with this keris is in the same sense, it is no longer a new keris, it is an older keris, but I have pulled back on calling it straight out an old keris. Why?

Because from a photo cannot tell that.

I'm afraid that that is where I stop.
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Old 10th July 2019, 10:03 PM   #18
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More pictures of the hilt :
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Old 11th July 2019, 06:11 PM   #19
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Hello SÚverin,

Thanks for the great series of pics which show a lot of details - neat photography skills!

Apart from the base, the carving seems to be not as deep as it is with some examples of this type. More importantly, the carving is extremely detailed and I guess we all agree that this is a beautiful piece of art!

I agree with your notion that the crosspiece was most likely not carved for this blade; please keep the scabbard as is though. IMHO, the blade, mendak, and hilt certainly are a good match!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 11th July 2019, 06:21 PM   #20
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I agree with Kai on all fronts. The hilt is both beautiful and nicely photographed. Thanks for a better viewing.
Yes, seeing the somewhat topside view it does seem that this sheath was not original to the blade, nor particularly well adapted, but as Kai states, it seems a good visual fit so i would not attempt to change much.
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Old 11th July 2019, 10:18 PM   #21
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Ok, Kai and David, thank you very much for your opinion.
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Old 12th July 2019, 09:52 PM   #22
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A lovely keris, and an exquisite jejeran! Congratulations!
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