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Old 7th February 2018, 01:35 AM   #1
Paul de Souza
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Default Which deity does this Bali handle represent?

The only deity I can find on the net is a demon with fangs holding a club..

Does anyine know which deity the hilt represents?

Thanks in advance.

Paul
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Last edited by Paul de Souza : 7th February 2018 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 7th February 2018, 03:42 AM   #2
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Would it be Bima Paul?
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Old 7th February 2018, 06:59 AM   #3
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Oh. Yah. Silly me.

Maybe because his club is different and he is clean shaven.

Thanks Rick. Hope I find u well.

Regards

Paul
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Old 7th February 2018, 09:41 AM   #4
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Bhima... or maybe Battara Bayu, the god of winds and Bhima's father.

See thread below:

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20996
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Old 7th February 2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Paul, I do think it would be wise for you to read the entire thread that Marius has linked to.
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Old 8th February 2018, 02:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul de Souza
Oh. Yah. Silly me.

Maybe because his club is different and he is clean shaven.

Thanks Rick. Hope I find u well.

Regards

Paul


Well, I gave it a try, Paul.

But as Alan has said we cannot say for sure about identities of these figural Bali hilts.

I have a version of the hilt that you have shown; I guess it's just human nature to want to hang a name on everything.

I hope I find you well; unfortunately this year's nasty flu has found me.
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Old 8th February 2018, 09:19 AM   #7
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Hello Paul,
Could you please post a side view of your hilt in order to better assess its attribute and head-dress? Do I see a bintulu eye at the bottom of the tumpal motif?
From the patina (is it natural or artificial?) this hilt seems to have some age so it is more likely that it depicts a specific deity. At first glance I would have voted for Bima like Rick did.
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Old 8th February 2018, 10:01 AM   #8
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I feel there is age in it but some people have said it is stained for age effect. There is a shine and wear to that suggest lots of handling and age. It may be stained but not a recent thing given the wear on it. I hope the following will help.
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Old 8th February 2018, 12:56 PM   #9
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Thank you Paul. There are still not many clues about the identification of the figure but it has a Garuda Mungkur on the back of the head, it is made from elephant ivory (Retzius lines visible on some pics) and the patina looks natural as the exposed tips (toes, etc) are whiter and worn. A nice hilt anyway, the selut may be less old than the hilt itself.
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Old 8th February 2018, 03:22 PM   #10
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Any idea about the semi-precious cabochon stones involved in the selut?
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Old 8th February 2018, 03:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul B.
Any idea about the semi-precious cabochon stones involved in the selut?

Well Paul, when you ask about age that was a red flag for me. Are they black in color. They look like they might be diopside which is not a stone i can see i have seen used on Bali hilts that are truly old. As Jean suggested the selut could be a newer addition, but it does make me suspicious of the age of the entire piece ash the color of the ivory does look dyed to me. Also the other diamond-like stones seem an unusual cut for older Balinese work.
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Old 8th February 2018, 06:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul B.
Any idea about the semi-precious cabochon stones involved in the selut?


The cabochon stones may be from black obsidian (volcano glass) which is used in Indonesia AFAIK but they are not suitable for a traditional Balinese selut indeed.
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Old 8th February 2018, 10:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
The cabochon stones may be from black obsidian (volcano glass) which is used in Indonesia AFAIK but they are not suitable for a traditional Balinese selut indeed.
Regards

Yes Jean, could also be obsidian. While i have not seen similar stones used on older seluts i wonder why you suggest they are not "suitable".
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Old 9th February 2018, 12:35 AM   #14
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If I remember right, it is the color of the stones that has talismanic and/or spiritual significance in Balinese pieces. Thus you see a lot of blue sapphires, red rubies, or black stones, or at least glass replacements.
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Old 9th February 2018, 02:40 AM   #15
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Colour symbolism in Bali is related to the Balinese Mandala, as an example this is the symbolism in the Mandala, related to SOUTH:-

South -- Kelod -- To the Sea -- Brahma -- Saraswati -- Red -- Impurity, strife, coarseness, lack of self control -- Liver -- Pigs & rubbish

In the case of BLACK, the relationship in the Mandala is to the NORTH and the deity concerned is WISNU. In this case of WISNU, the colour can also be GREEN.

The most popular colour combination in traditionally mounted hilts is WHITE - BLACK - RED, which is representative of the Balinese Trinity:- Iswara (or Siwa*) - Wisnu - Brahma.
* in very simplistic terms "Iswara" can be understood as being the same as Siwa. This is an incorrect but easy to relate to understanding. Iswara can mean different things in different contexts and in different strands of Hindu belief. A slightly more complex way of thinking of Iswara is that Iswara is the universal oneness that connects all. In the Mandala Siwa embraces mixed colours, but because the mixing of colours creates WHITE, Siwa can also be understood in terms of WHITE.

If the colour used in something is intended to relate to only one deity, it could be expected that the colour will tie to the one deity in terms of Mandala related symbolism, but if the colour relationship is to more than one deity, or more than one Mandala related concept then the colours will indicate what that relationship is likely to be.

So, yes, in Balinese belief colour is symbolic, but it requires a great deal of understanding to be able to interpret the many possible relationships. It is really a job for a specialist, it is probably sufficient for us if we have a broad understanding of the relationships and that they can and often do, exist.

In respect of probable age of this hilt, I am inclined to place the selut in the span of 1960 - 1980. I believe the hilt probably dates from the same period. This is opinion only, based upon what I know of style related to period in Balinese craft-works.
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Old 10th February 2018, 01:33 AM   #16
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Hello Jean,

Quote:
The cabochon stones may be from black obsidian (volcano glass) which is used in Indonesia AFAIK but they are not suitable for a traditional Balinese selut indeed.

Don't these look like low-quality black sapphires? (Basically with irregular layers of needles inside rather than clear or star sapphires?)

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Kai
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Old 10th February 2018, 12:44 PM   #17
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Obsidian seems not the case...shiny and pitchblack but not semi-translucent like the depicted uwer stones.
This is another probably similar cabochon stone and low quality sapphire is a good guess Kai. Optional: smokey quartz but tends to be more brownish.
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Old 10th February 2018, 07:46 PM   #18
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These stones, both black and red, were very popular in Balinese silver jewellery from the early 1970's through to the mid-1980's. That is the time span I can vouch for, but they might have been used before the 1970's, have not seen the black stones like these in verifiable pre-WWII work. I think these stones are both still used, but not nearly as often as they used to be. During the 1970' -1980's the black stones were very prevalent. They used to call them black sapphires in Bali, something I've always found difficult to accept. Sapphire is corundum, if it is brilliant cut crystal, its a sapphire, if it is a dull black cab it is stuff that missed out on getting ground up and made into W&D paper. If it is a cab with a star, well, that's different. They were cheap stones.
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Old 10th February 2018, 09:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
These stones, both black and red, were very popular in Balinese silver jewellery from the early 1970's through to the mid-1980's. That is the time span I can vouch for, but they might have been used before the 1970's, have not seen the black stones like these in verifiable pre-WWII work. I think these stones are both still used, but not nearly as often as they used to be. During the 1970' -1980's the black stones were very prevalent. They used to call them black sapphires in Bali, something I've always found difficult to accept. Sapphire is corundum, if it is brilliant cut crystal, its a sapphire, if it is a dull black cab it is stuff that missed out on getting ground up and made into W&D paper. If it is a cab with a star, well, that's different. They were cheap stones.

Yes, real black star sapphire is actually a pretty pricey stone. That is why i suggested this might be black diopside, which has a similar look.
What you say here Alan confirms my own suspicions of the age of this hilt, or at least the selut. But the ivory still looks dyed to me and i suspect the entire hilt may well be from about the same period just as you do.
I don't particularly mean this as a criticism. It is still an attractive hilt. However, if indeed it is from this late 20th century period it is less likely to have had as much intention placed on an actual traditional figure than, say, if it where a 19th century piece.
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Old 11th February 2018, 12:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Colour symbolism in Bali is related to the Balinese Mandala, as an example this is the symbolism in the Mandala

Thank you so much Alan for elaborating on this: I have always wondered and now your explanation fills in a lot of holes for us (and especially me ).
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Old 11th February 2018, 07:22 AM   #21
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My explanation of Balinese symbolism is very superficial, and about all I've done is to confirm that, yeah, symbolism does exist. Something that we already know. the info that I put up comes from a lady named Murni, who was the informant for Jonathon Copeland's "Secrets of Bali".

I would guess that if you google "Bali + mandala + Murni" you will get a whole lot more.
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Old 11th February 2018, 07:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
the info that I put up comes from a lady named Murni, who was the informant for Jonathon Copeland's "Secrets of Bali".

Alan, do you recommend this book? I have not read it yet.
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Old 11th February 2018, 08:40 PM   #23
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Most wholeheartedly David.

It will open your eyes to what real , traditional attitudes in Bali actually are.

It is a low priced book, and the production is less than wonderful, but the content is as good as you will get in this field. Jonathan Copeland is a British lawyer, who has had a long association with Bali, and in my understanding now lives there. I have met with both Ni Wayan Murni, and Jonathan Copeland and both these people are genuine, feet-on-the-ground people.

What you will read in "Secrets" is not the rose coloured drivel of some newly converted Bali enthusiast, it is the real thing.

"Secrets of Bali --- Fresh Light on the Morning of the World", Jonathan Copeland, Ni Wayan Murni, Orchid Press, PO Box 1046, Silom Post Office, Bangkok 10504, Thailand, ISBN: 978-974-524-118-3

It is not difficult to find, throw the ISBN into BOOKFINDER and you will get a lot of choices.
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Old 12th February 2018, 03:02 AM   #24
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Thank you all for the feedback given. I have learnt so much in the past few days. I am not familiar with Bali keris and the iconography and symbolism associated with it.

The reason I asked about the hilt was that it did not seem to conform with older hilts forms on the net or in books, given its lifelike facial features. Also the ivory was clearly stained for an aged effect but the patina and wear in parts seem to indicate some age. I did not take much notice of the selut till it was mentioned here. Well a 40 plus year old piece is not really "young".

The blade does not have the Balinese polish and I have asked myself if it could be a Madura blade. The wood in the sheath doesn't seem to have the pelet effect of older pieces eventhough I was told it is pelet wood.

I acquired the piece in the mid to late 1990s. Din know much about keris then (even now..dunno much...new things to learn, old assumptions overturned). It was and is a lovely piece and really heartening to see the level of workmanship from that period. I will attach full pics of it in the next post. Might be great for discussions.
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Old 12th February 2018, 05:09 AM   #25
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Thanks Alan. I had it waiting in my Amazon basket and just placed the order after you recommendation.
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Old 12th February 2018, 07:12 AM   #26
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Here are the pics of the kris. Have to work on what I have in the album in my phone. Needed to edit to meet pixel limits. So in sections but hopefully u can visualise the whole kris.
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Old 14th February 2018, 01:32 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul de Souza
The wood in the sheath doesn't seem to have the pelet effect of older pieces eventhough I was told it is pelet wood.

From what I can see in the pictures, this scabbard, especially the wrangka, is pelet wood.

I will say though that I have heard that pelet wood is becoming endangered and good quality has been hard to come by since the 1990s.
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Old 14th February 2018, 03:08 AM   #28
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