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Old 7th July 2023, 01:56 PM   #1
milandro
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Default My Refurbished Balinese Kris

Few months ago I bought a job lot from a person whose Grandfather spent time in Indonesia. Among several things there was this beautiful very long blade which was in a non fitting sarong (incidentally there was some pencil written information on this where the sarong had lost its veneer and it was dated 1924 ). The blade had a simple Hilt had no proper sarong and was too long and wide to fit the sarong that it was in.

It was also covered with some lacquer. So I set out to restore this blade. Restoring the lacquer was the least of the problems. All it needed was to put it in boiling water. The lacquer came off and it wasn't difficult to clean the left over gunk.


I then sent the blade to be washed by a trusted person whom does this for me and it came back very nice.


Quite by chance I took part to an an auction where I bought a few hilts. This one was really nice and depicted Dewi Saraswati goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning.

Incidentally and incredibly in the same auction there was a similar Kris which had belonged to Emile Veenendaal with a similar grip and it too was a Ganja Iras Balinese Kris with a Bengo segodo pamor (what are the chances!).

So I put the Hilt on My kris with a suitable solid silver mendak and commissioned a Sarong to be custom made on Bali (of course the measures had to be carefully taken ).

It came. back almost perfectly fitting and with the assistance of a local dealer skilled in woodwork it was made to fit perfectly.

I am very pleased with the overall result.
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Old 7th July 2023, 05:48 PM   #2
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Very nicely done, congrats!
A few questions, how long is the blade? Is the hilt new or old? And from which material is it? From where you got the information who the handle is meant to represent? And do you have a picture from the keris which once belonged to Emile Veenendaal?
BTW, I strongly guess that we have the same person who does the warangan for us!
Regards,
Detlef
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Old 7th July 2023, 07:23 PM   #3
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The hilt was bought at auction and they said if was from the '70 but could be older. The blade, not including the pest, is 46 cm long

The material is albino kerbau horn. The information on the divinity represented was provided by the auction house. They have some of the most famous appraisers in the NL.

I actually have a picture of the other kris owned by Emile Veenendaal ( I have published also in the thread about figural hilts).


Yes I think we use the services of the same person to do the Warangan washing.

This is the kris which once belonged to Emile Veenendaal (they are pictures from that same auction) it is not my kris though. You can see the similarities of both Krises and Hilts.

It was an incredible coincidence that I was able to match a hilt whey similar to a very similar kris . The Venedaal kris has a much more ornate sarong and carried an hefty price tag, but frankly speaking I am very happy of my own with its sarong.
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Old 7th July 2023, 08:35 PM   #4
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Thank you very much!
Indeed very very similar the both keris, crazy!

Like said before, a very nice keris, congrats for the refurbish work!

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Detlef
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Old 10th July 2023, 05:49 PM   #5
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Beautiful keris blade and you did a fine job redressing it. I would say the hilt is not very old, but it is quite attractive and suits this ensemble well. Nice job!
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Old 10th July 2023, 05:51 PM   #6
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cheers
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Old 24th February 2024, 04:29 PM   #7
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I have just learned that the hilt is a representation of Putri Mandalika a Sasak princess whose figure overlaps and someone is identified with the one of Parvati . The goddess is worshipped by the Sasak population of Lombok but also on Bali.


I got this from a new friend , Duncan, who is a very knowledgeable hilt connoisseur , Very thankful to him.
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Old 25th February 2024, 12:51 AM   #8
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Milandro, I find that to be a strange symbolism to incorporate into a keris hilt.

My memory of the Putri Mandalika myth is that she committed suicide by drowning rather than choose a husband from her many suitors, she became a symbol of self sacrifice.

Her reincarnation was as a sea worm that is eaten.

Rather a strange symbolism to occupy the position that is usually one of a protective symbol.

I wonder if this hilt is perhaps an artistic expression rather than an expression of keris symbolism?
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Old 25th February 2024, 07:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
Milandro, I find that to be a strange symbolism to incorporate into a keris hilt.

My memory of the Putri Mandalika myth is that she committed suicide by drowning rather than choose a husband from her many suitors, she became a symbol of self sacrifice.

Her reincarnation was as a sea worm that is eaten.

Rather a strange symbolism to occupy the position that is usually one of a protective symbol.

I wonder if this hilt is perhaps an artistic expression rather than an expression of keris symbolism?


My new friend has provided me with an extensive reference of hilts, all representing the same goddess , which are all very coherent with the depiction on my hilt. Ik will ask him permission to share them with the kind people here. He also provided extensive stories concerning the cult and the worms which apparently consumed during the festival in the winter when they appear.
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Old 25th February 2024, 08:08 AM   #10
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Thanks Milandro.

Yes, I understand that the Putri Mandalika myth has a strong following in Lombok, this is not in question at all.

What strikes me as peculiar is that Putri Mandalika is not associated with a protective function, but the personage used as a keris hilt figure is supposed to perform a protective function.

The symbolism associated with Putri Mandalika would seem to be quite the opposite of being protective, so I am wondering just how and why Putri Mandalika has achieved keris hilt status.

Yes, these worms are regarded as a delicacy & they only appear on the beaches for a very limited period, they are called something like "nyale". They have all sorts of esoteric powers attributed to them and are currently being used in Lombok to promote tourism.

But PM as a protective agent?

I don't think that is a part of the myth. The way this myth was told to me , many, many years ago is that PM symbolises self sacrifice and bravery, so if indeed this is case, why use her as a protective device?

I just don't get it.
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Old 25th February 2024, 08:12 AM   #11
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I don't know, I have certainly seen (I will share when given permission) a great many similar depictions on hilts. I am assuming that carvers in Lombok and their clients appreciate her for this purpose.


My friend also elaborated on the conversions of the deity of Putri Mandalika which uniformed to Parvati wife of Shiva.
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Old 25th February 2024, 10:51 AM   #12
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Yes, some very strange things do happen.
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