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Old 7th June 2018, 02:49 PM   #1
Paul B.
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Default Unknown keris blade, Solo or Madura?

Shown is a blade with Ngulit semangka (Nggajih) pamor and suppose this blade is from Madura. The dress looks more like a Solo sarong with good fitting.
Is this dapur Anoman? The carved winged Singa could be an additional carving of more recent age? Are there 2 sogokan or is this kind of a Naga body ?
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Old 7th June 2018, 03:52 PM   #2
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Hi Paul. I can't tell for sure from your photos, but that does look like elongated sogokan to me. Like the "winged" carving i am not sure if they are original to the blade though.
As for the "winged" carving, this is also a bit difficult to make out in your photos. In hand this is probably much clearer, but i do see what you are perceiving as "wings". However, this would not be a Singo. If indeed i am interpreting this correctly it would seem more likely to represent a winged elephant. I have seen such representation on keris before and in fact have a blade with a much more obvious carving of a winged elephant in this position on the blade.
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Old 7th June 2018, 06:15 PM   #3
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Yes my bad...I meant a winged and crowned elephant.
This pic shows the details more clear.
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Old 7th June 2018, 07:13 PM   #4
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When taken together, couldn't the elongated sokogan and winged elephant be taken as a representation of paksi naga liman?
Liman = elephant, paksi = bird, and the long sokogan would symbolize the naga's body.

As to whether the carving is recent or not, I wouldn't care to venture.

Can I ask, why do you assume the wilah is from Madura?
Personally, I still find it difficult to tell which blade is from where. What I know about Madura blades is that their gandhik tends to slope inward, and that they often have a wispy telale gajah. I have difficulty recognizing those traits in this particular blade. (But as I said, I am quite bad at that.)
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Old 7th June 2018, 08:02 PM   #5
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Documented as a Solo kris but a more knowledgeable person assumed Madura as an origin. The clothes don't tell me so but that is not a definitive proof.
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Old 8th June 2018, 03:56 AM   #6
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This blade is certainly not Solo, but Madura?

I just do not know. It might be, but if so, pretty recent --- it doesn't look recent, however even if we do allow recent Madura, there are more than a few things that are not consistent with that.

I do not want to guess where it originated --- not from a pic anyway.
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Old 8th June 2018, 11:20 AM   #7
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You may learn from the peksi? It is not as massive as you might think ( wide base of the ganja).
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Old 8th June 2018, 01:22 PM   #8
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Paul, with my apologies, "peksi" is Krama for bird, "pesi" is an alternative spelling and pronunciation for "bird", brought about because the "k" in "peksi" is a glottal stop and is not usually heard by a non-native speaker.

But the word for a blade tang is "pesi", it is never "peksi".

I know that we find "peksi" as the word for "tang" in many places.

They are all wrong.

Looking closely at your photos of the gonjo area, it appears that the gonjo might be held in place with adhesive rather than by a metal to metal fit.

Is this so?
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Old 8th June 2018, 03:00 PM   #9
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As far as I can see it is metal to metal fit.
The word peksi is a commonly used misinterpretation.
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Old 8th June 2018, 10:30 PM   #10
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Yes, "peksi" is incorrect, and it is a common error. It is more than that though.The incorrect use of the word "peksi" is a source of amusement for most of the Javanese keris fanciers I know, whenever they encounter it. It is just one more perceived straw of ignorance that some people will use to demonstrate that unless a person is Javanese and can speak Javanese, they cannot possibly understand the keris. It would be nice if we could extinguish this source of amusement.


Back to the keris.
Paul, you have it in your hand, I only have photos, but it looks to me as if there is an adhesive between the blade base and the gonjo base, and that there is also adhesive between the gonjo and the tang. The adhesive that is commonly used to fill these areas is normally a two part resin such as Araldite, mixed with iron filings or black artists colour.

We normally test if adhesive exists, with a needle, sometimes it is necessary to heat the needle.

This adhesive fill is common, even usual, for a very old or worn blade, it has been used in Jawa since two part resin became available ---1950's? --- its purpose in an old blade is to prevent further deterioration, and in an old, worn blade it is regarded as quite acceptable.

However, since about 1980-'82, it has also been used by some new makers as a shortcut to fix the gonjo. This blade of yours is not old, I cannot see a key used in the gonjo fit, the other acceptable way of fitting a gonjo if no key is used , is to work around the pesi and tighten the gonjo metal with a hammer and punch, this is easier and faster than using the key method, but it normally leaves punch marks on top of the gonjo and around the pesi. In the photo I cannot see these punch marks.

Because I cannot see the expected evidence of a metal to metal fit, my suspicion is that adhesive was used to fit the gonjo. If you have tested as I outlined, and there is no adhesive, then I still have no idea of exactly where this blade might come from. However, if there is adhesive, and especially if that adhesive is between the pesi and the tang, then this blade is most probably a recent Madura production, say, within the last 40 years.
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Old 9th June 2018, 07:31 PM   #11
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Thanks, I tested it with a red heat needle and just some old dirt came out. With a magnifying glass I saw the metal to metal contact.
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Old 9th June 2018, 10:28 PM   #12
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OK Paul, thanks.

So I still do not have a direction.

At this point your guess is as good as mine --- but it is not Surakarta, that much I can say. In fact, it might not even be Jawa --- the ron dha and in fact the entire greneng do not really follow any Jawa pattern.

There is something else that perhaps should be considered, something that is not generally known and almost invariably gets disregarded. In Central Jawa and to a lesser extent in East Jawa there is a practice --- I hesitate to call it a "tradition", because I do not know that it is --- that a person who is not a pande keris, or an mpu, or even a pande besi, might make one or two keris for himself or his immediate family. This is still happening today, and certainly did happen in the past. When we have somebody who is outside the general body of artisans engaged in any craft or trade, we find inexplicable variations in style and execution, when we encounter this, it becomes virtually impossible to use the indicators and tells that we normally use to classify something. This might be the case here.
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Old 11th June 2018, 08:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
OK Paul, thanks.

So I still do not have a direction.

At this point your guess is as good as mine --- but it is not Surakarta, that much I can say. In fact, it might not even be Jawa --- the ron dha and in fact the entire greneng do not really follow any Jawa pattern.

There is something else that perhaps should be considered, something that is not generally known and almost invariably gets disregarded. In Central Jawa and to a lesser extent in East Jawa there is a practice --- I hesitate to call it a "tradition", because I do not know that it is --- that a person who is not a pande keris, or an mpu, or even a pande besi, might make one or two keris for himself or his immediate family. This is still happening today, and certainly did happen in the past. When we have somebody who is outside the general body of artisans engaged in any craft or trade, we find inexplicable variations in style and execution, when we encounter this, it becomes virtually impossible to use the indicators and tells that we normally use to classify something. This might be the case here.


This is information that is entirely new to me, and personally I find it quite interesting. I think the notion of making one or two keris for oneself or one's family is a rather charming one. It certainly makes it a very personal item.
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