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Old 20th January 2018, 01:14 PM   #1
Paul B.
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Default Java kris for identification

Unknown Javanese kris.
Got this kris today and very happy with it but it confuses me. The experienced seller calls it a Cheribon kris but I am not to sure about it myself.
The Banymas silver pendok aligns with a Nothern Java coast example but that's just about it relating it to Pesisiran area imho.

This is the information coming along:
TANGGUH: Pajajaran (13th century)
DAPUR: Bakung
WARANGKA: Ladrang Solo, Capu kagok in Cemara genung
UKIRAN: Yudowinotan, Kemuning werat
MENDAK: Bejen Solo in zilveralloy with inten

Hope someone can give some insight.
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Old 20th January 2018, 03:41 PM   #2
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That's an attractive keris. The hilt is niccely formed and carved out of beautiful wood and it has a lovely mendak. It's not Cirebon, at least not by dress which is Surakarta Ladrang (formal) dress. It certainly isn't 13th century either. And while it does seem to have a nice high nickel contrasting pamor i am afraid that it isn't the seller has simply assumed it is meteorite without any real basis. But over all a nice, very collectable keris, IMO.
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Old 20th January 2018, 07:41 PM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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My opinion below:-

Tangguh might be Pajajaran, I cannot tell from photos, but it does appear to be a west Jawa keris. Although tangguh can legitimately relate a particular piece of tosan aji to an historic period, where the tangguh classification uses the same name as that which applies to an historic period, it is highly unlikely that the item classified as that tangguh actually dates from the period bearing the same name, but it probably does originate in the same geographic location where the historic kingdom was located.

Dhapur might be Bakung, I cannot tell from the pics

Pamor material is impossible to know with any certainty, either from a photo or in the hand. In the hand there are indicators that might give a possibility of material, but no certainty. Modern technology employed in metallographic examination may be able to provide strong evidence of meteoritic origin, see the King Tut thread.

Pamor motif is probably not Sisik Sewu. Sisik Sewu resembles Udan Mas, but is smaller than Udan Mas, and each dot tends to overlay other dots, it is a tightly packed motif. I cannot name the pamor motif on this keris, there is too much of it missing, it may have originally been Pandan Iris.

The wrongko (warangka) is missing a ri pandan, if it was made this way it is probable that it is not the work of a Solo craftsman, but rather generic Central Jawa. Stylistically, and with a ri pandan it might be Kadipaten form, but differences in Solo wrongkos are so slight that it really needs to be held to give a supportable opinion. The other possibility is that it has been refinished a few times and has lost the ri pandan in the process. Still totally wearable, but not pristine.

The pendok can be attributed to Banyumas.

The ukiran might be Yudowinatan, but I would need a perfect 90 degree close up to give a supportable opinion; as with the atasan of a wrongko, Surakarta planar hilts have almost imperceptible differences.

The mendak is Surakarta Bejen.

It is old, it has been reshaped in that edge erosion has been tidied up, originally the wadidang would have been longer, the greneng has been recut.

It is a nice keris, typical of the older style of keris offered on the open market.
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Old 21st January 2018, 03:30 PM   #4
Paul B.
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Thanks David and Alan!
Indeed the Ladrang scabbard once had a ripandan but worn out.
With this knowledge we can pinpoint it as a Solo scabbard / kris?
I have got another one which has almost the same dress and the planar hilt looks like a twin. I find these models (referring to the Jawa Keris book) very similar apart from a few exceptions.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 11:23 AM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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If there never was a ri pandan I would read that as being highly probable that the wrongko was not made by a Solo craftsman.

If there was originally a ri pandan that is now no more, I would read that as a possibility that the wrongko might have been made by a Solo craftsman.

But to my mind it is of absolutely no importance at all who or where the scabbard was made:- it is simply an old scabbard in very worn condition and of no particular quality.

The truly important thing with any keris is only the blade. All items of dress are changed regularly throughout the life of a keris. The dress of a keris can be regarded in a similar way to the dress of a man:- it has a certain value, it transmits a certain message, but it has no soul.

In respect of identification of hilt type, if you have a copy of "Keris Jawa", do a comparison with the chart in that, with the hilt in your hand. That's all I do. I don't use the book, I use a life-size chart that was hand-drawn many years ago by an unknown person, probably a tukang jejeran, but its the same thing.
You just try to find as close agreement as possible to the details in the chart. But remember this:- a very great number of planar hilts are extremely difficult to put a style name on, details of different types will be mixed. These are just the low quality ones that were produced for sale in a market, not the be-spoke ones that were made for a specific person or intent. The high quality hilts are easy to classify, because their details coincide exactly with the details shown in a chart. An accurate classification should have no exceptions to required detail.
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