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Old 8th May 2013, 03:37 AM   #1
A. G. Maisey
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Default Sunggingan

As somebody who does sell keris I'm a bit handicapped when it comes to posting photos of things, because for a few years now I've been selling items from my personal collection, and I do not wish to infringe the rules by posting pics of things that I might offer for sale at any time in the near future.

Then there is the other thing that I will not show the blade of any keris or other piece of tosan aji that I have no intention of selling.

So put together it means that there are not a whole lot of things that I can post pics of.

However, what I've posted here are pretty safe:- I have no intention of offering any of these items for sale in the near future, and you do not need to see blades to appreciate what I am showing.

Here are a few of my sunggingans.

What you see is a mix of older pieces and more recent ones that were done by Pak Legiman of Pajang in the late 1980's. Pak Legiman at the time was widely regarded as one of the finest sunggingan artists who had ever lived.

Enjoy.
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Old 8th May 2013, 03:52 AM   #2
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Default Sunggingan continued

---- a few more
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Old 8th May 2013, 06:47 AM   #3
Jussi M.
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Old 8th May 2013, 08:30 AM   #4
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G'day Alan,

I don't think I really can evaluate the quality of this in the technical aspect, but I'm sure it all looked very nice. I have several questions on these.

1. What is the medium that is being used to produce the sunggingan?
2. How long does it take to produce it (for an average piece)? I would imagine it would take very long if we have to wait for each layer of paint to dry. (Or do we have to?)
3. How do appraise a sunggingan work apart from the complexity of the design (if there is any other aspects)?
4. Are the motives standard? Can you please highlight the purpose of the sunggingan (hierarchy etc)

Sorry if the list is too long, but I don' think the question are hard for you.. Thank you..
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Old 8th May 2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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Absolutely stunning pieces!!! Beautifully drawn. I'm going to enjoy their grace a bit more while finishing my coffee.
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Old 8th May 2013, 01:12 PM   #6
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Far too hard Jussi. I do not know everything about everything, I think I understand a little bit about a little bit.

Q1. Paint. Sunggingan simply means decorative paint work. In Jawa they decorate cupboards and chests in similar fashion. The ones I've shown here have a variety of paints on them, and I have no idea at all what any of them are.

Q2. I do not know. I do know that the intricate ones are not done quickly. When I was ordering from Legiman it was not a matter of waiting a few weeks for one, I got on the end of a queue, placed the order and waited, he'd never take an order of more than 3 from me, and I waited 12 months or more for those. From memory I could get one during one visit, which was maybe 6 to 8 weeks. But actual working time? No idea.

Q3. I've never known an expert authority on sunggingan scabbards, and there is very little in print about them. I do have some notes about the hierarchical use of colours, but I don't remember the rules. The pendoks are coloured coded for kraton ranks --- red for pangeran, green for mentri , black for mourning and for unranked abdi dalem, there's another one there too I think, but I forget it. The paint work is also coloured coded --- white for pangeran I remember, I think it was yellow or gold for mentri. The whole colour thing is coded, but I'd need to look up notes, I can't remember them.
As to appraisal, it is a matter of craftsmanship:- neat, correct execution, correct combination of colours, quality application. Anybody who can appraise any craft work can appraise sunggingan work, after he has learnt the standard.

Q4. Motifs are traditional, I do not have a pattern book of these, but the same few patterns are repeated again and again, especially for kraton wear. Dress not really intended for palace wear enjoys greater freedom, and the wearer can more or less dictate what he wishes, but with kraton motifs, it comes down to the tried and true, such as alas-alasan , modang, lung-lungan, punakawan --- probably a few others too, but they don't come readily to mind. The poleng motif is usually worn by the cantung balung.
A hundred years or so ago the people who would wear this type of keris dress were regarded as "flash jacks". Show-offs, skites. "Hey here I am:- look at me!" These days I have rarely seen anybody wear a sunggingan scabbard except the cantung balungs and an occasional person at some festive occasion.

The men who paint these scabbards are usually the same ones who do wayang puppets.
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Old 8th May 2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Thanks Alan. One last question. You had mentioned that anybody that know art can appraise sunggingan after they had learnt the standards. I'm not quite clear on what sort of standard that you mean. Thanks..
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Old 8th May 2013, 04:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Far too hard Jussi. I do not know everything about everything, I think I understand a little bit about a little bit.


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Old 8th April 2019, 01:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
As somebody who does sell keris I'm a bit handicapped when it comes to posting photos of things, because for a few years now I've been selling items from my personal collection, and I do not wish to infringe the rules by posting pics of things that I might offer for sale at any time in the near future.

Then there is the other thing that I will not show the blade of any keris or other piece of tosan aji that I have no intention of selling.

So put together it means that there are not a whole lot of things that I can post pics of.

However, what I've posted here are pretty safe:- I have no intention of offering any of these items for sale in the near future, and you do not need to see blades to appreciate what I am showing.

Here are a few of my sunggingans.

What you see is a mix of older pieces and more recent ones that were done by Pak Legiman of Pajang in the late 1980's. Pak Legiman at the time was widely regarded as one of the finest sunggingan artists who had ever lived.

Enjoy.



Dear Alan, I just have nose bleed. SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!
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Old 8th April 2019, 02:21 PM   #10
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Since Alan goes on to explain many of the terms and color associations discussed in this thread on another i am going to post a link to that thread here for convenience sake.
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...=painted+pendok
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Old 8th April 2019, 07:44 PM   #11
A. G. Maisey
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Please accept my apologies Anthony.

But yes, most of these sunggingans are a cut above.

There are some nice old sunggingans in the Museum Radya Pustaka in Solo too. I'll put up some pics if i have time.
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