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Old 11th April 2018, 04:10 AM   #1
Rafngard
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Default A North Coast Javanese Keris with a Raksasa hilt for comment

Hello All,

I just picked up this keris from epray for a surprisingly low price. I think it's from the North coast. My first instinct is that it has some real age, but I'm often wrong on such things. The Gayaman style sampir has a kendit stripe (though I think it might be dyed on).

The ukiran is a lot of what attracted me to the keris. To my eye, it looks stylistically closer to older ones, rather than modern Cirebon raksasa hilts (it lacks the "hunch-back" you often see on this), but there's a good possibility I'm wrong on this. The filigreed selut is almost certainly a latter addition, though it is pretty.

At some point, maybe 20+ years in the past, some bozo decided to glue the peksi into the ukiran, the mendak to the selut, and the gandar into the pendok. I was able to remove much of this, though some is still present on the mendak (visible in one of the photos).Through slow, deliberate work, I was able to get the peksi out of the ukiran, but it was stressful, I've snapped a peksi before).

The blade looks old (but perhaps it is artificially aged). Evidence of Pamor is visible, and the blade seems to be starting to delaminate near the tip. I have done a light cleaning since receiving it (and drenching the blade in wd-40)

What do people think? Is my thinking correct, or totally off base. Any other comments or thoughts are as always welcome.

Thanks,
Leif
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Last edited by Rafngard : 11th April 2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 11th April 2018, 12:00 PM   #2
kai
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Hello Leif,

Quote:
I think it's from the North coast. My first instinct is that it has some real age

Well, the scabbard is Yogya and I recall someone mentioning that this hilt type was commonly utilized by young noble retainers at the Yogya court.


Quote:
The Gayaman style sampir has a kendit stripe (though I think it might be dyed on).

Check along the edges; a lens may help, too. Kendit is the result of a fungal infection - it tends to follow the growth rings while ink will tether out along the grain...


Quote:
The ukiran is a lot of what attracted me to the keris. To my eye, it looks stylistically closer to older ones, rather than modern Cirebon raksasa hilts (it lacks the "hunch-back" you often see on this), but there's a good possibility I'm wrong on this.

These figural hilts with crossed arms and fairly erect posture are often referred to originate from the Pasisir region (NE Java coast) but also found on Madura (putra satu). It's an old style distinct from the common demon hilt type.

Your hilt isn't one of the early pieces; however, it seems carved fairly well for the later examples; I can't comment on its likely age. Even with a little of the hair broken off, it's the main prize here!

Close-ups from all 4 sides of the hilt would be great for in-depth analysis.


Quote:
The filigreed selut is almost certainly a latter addition

Definitely recent work and not really suitable. I'd remove it since it obscures the base of the hilt.

Quote:
The blade looks old (but perhaps it is artificially aged). Evidence of Pamor is visible, and the blade seems to be starting to delaminate near the tip.

I'd guess the blade is old and worn down. IMHO not a quality that would make sense to copy and to age artificially.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 11th April 2018, 02:04 PM   #3
David
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I find myself mostly in agreement with Kai.
The Kendit does not look particularly suspicious to me in the photo, but a close examination should tell you if it is real or dyed. Often the fungus isn't just on the surface of the wood. It should have some depth. So if you examine the inside of the sheath with a flashlight you should be able to see if the stripe goes through the wood.
I agree that the selut looks odd on this hilt. I would also remove it. Hopefully fitting it has not done any damage to the base of this hilt. It is a nice carving, but it does not appear particularly old to me. Carefully applied heat can often help is removing old glue so hopefully you will be able to get the selut off from the base of this hilt successfully.
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Old 11th April 2018, 05:06 PM   #4
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Agree with everything what's said already. All parts don't belong together but I think that the seller (who is a member of this forum also) don't put it together like this, it will be a mismatch from a former owner/dealer.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 13th April 2018, 02:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Check along the edges; a lens may help, too. Kendit is the result of a fungal infection - it tends to follow the growth rings while ink will tether out along the grain...


Great tip! Thanks!
An initial examination didn't reveal anything odd. I'll check it out with magnification in the near future.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
These figural hilts with crossed arms and fairly erect posture are often referred to originate from the Pasisir region (NE Java coast) but also found on Madura (putra satu). It's an old style distinct from the common demon hilt type.


Oh! I hadn't thought about Putra satu. The hilt does bear a a lot of resemblance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
Close-ups from all 4 sides of the hilt would be great for in-depth analysis.


This can definitely be done ;-)

Thank you for all your comments Kai!

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 13th April 2018, 03:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
The Kendit does not look particularly suspicious to me in the photo, but a close examination should tell you if it is real or dyed. Often the fungus isn't just on the surface of the wood. It should have some depth. So if you examine the inside of the sheath with a flashlight you should be able to see if the stripe goes through the wood.


With this morning's sunlight, I think could see the Kendit on one side of the inside at least. This is probably an encouraging sign.I will examine further in the near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I agree that the selut looks odd on this hilt. I would also remove it. Hopefully fitting it has not done any damage to the base of this hilt. It is a nice carving, but it does not appear particularly old to me. Carefully applied heat can often help is removing old glue so hopefully you will be able to get the selut off from the base of this hilt successfully.


I'm a little hesitant to make the attempt, as I'm worried about damaging both the selut and the hilt. I'll try to poke at this this weekend.

Thanks for all your comments David!

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 13th April 2018, 03:04 AM   #7
Rafngard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajen
Agree with everything what's said already. All parts don't belong together but I think that the seller (who is a member of this forum also) don't put it together like this, it will be a mismatch from a former owner/dealer.



The seller did seem both very knowledge about and honest in their listing. I guess I'm not surprised that their a member!

Thanks for your comments Detlef!

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 13th April 2018, 08:52 AM   #8
Jean
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The hilt is finely carved but a recent piece from Madura IMO, it lacks the charm of old pieces (stiff design). I would also try to remove the selut which is not suitable.
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