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Old 25th January 2013, 09:02 PM   #1
ariel
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Default New kerises: need opinions

Having already admitted my total naivete re. kerises, I want to show here 2 of them that just wandered into :-)
The first one, IMHO, is Jawanese, Madura handle, scabbard - Sandang Welikat.
Metal sleeve is very low grade silver (?), the tip is damaged
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Old 25th January 2013, 09:08 PM   #2
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Default #2

The second one is a mystery to me... Sorry...
The entire furniture, - handle, scabbard, - is made from bone. Blade has crusts of rust ( pun not intended).
Here I need help in placing it.
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Old 25th January 2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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Please help me with placing them correctly, defining them, dating them ( if possible) and expressing your opinion re. their worth.
If anyone is uncomfortable with openly telling me the truth, feel free to send me PM. Honesty is highly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 26th January 2013, 02:03 AM   #4
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Cool

I believe you're correct on the first one .
The second one is Sumatran, and the blade is kind of interesting, 3 waves .
Both these blades are better judged when viewed point upwards with the wide part of the gangya to the right .
Both are in need of the dress part below the handle; in the case of the E.Java/madura a mendak is needed; the Sumatran needs a selut (cup with stem) .

I don't mean to crack wise here, Ariel, but they are both worth whatever someone is willing to pay and you to accept .

Neither are 'treasures' monetarily .
They both have a certain rough charm; I'm sure that's why you acquired them .
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Old 26th January 2013, 03:18 AM   #5
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Thanks Rick!
I was not asking for a monetary value.
Can anybody tell me where can I get decent mendak and selut for them?
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Old 26th January 2013, 05:59 AM   #6
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I think the hilt on the first one is Javanese as well, not Madurese. You could have the sheath tested, but i'm willing to bet that there is no silver content there, just a white metal (mamas). I like this keris and dress. I often see mendaks sold on eBay if you're looking.
I will reserve comment on the second keris, but personally wouldn't spend too much time or money on a selut for it.
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Old 26th January 2013, 07:27 AM   #7
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Hello Ariel,

the first one is a Java keris like you write, blade is dapur tilam upih and the handle is putra satu type. I would place this keris to East Java or the North East coast from Java. Like David write I think that the sheath is from mamas. It is a decent keris IMHO. Is the fit inside the sheath good? A mendak for this one will be easy to obtain.

The second keris is much more interesting and I disagree here with David. It is a Minangkabau keris of typical form. I am nearly sure that the ensemble is in all parts old and original. Hilt and sheath are most probable from whale bone. Look here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=8160
Please check the material, some hints are given in the thread. The blade you should clean with unsweated pinapple juice or lemon juice. It will be very more difficult to get a fitting pendokok for this keris. I will send you later at the day a pm.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 26th January 2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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For the 2nd one I am with Detlef. Minangkabau.

Normally bone scabbards are a bit of a put off for me. I prefer wood.
But the blade looks good and old, indeed cleaning is necesarry.
The hilt is very charming with very nice details.

I would suggest to try get a very simple plain silver selut on this one, leaving all the attention for the lovely carved hilt.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 26th January 2013, 11:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Normally bone scabbards are a bit of a put off for me.

This probably has much to do with my reaction to this keris. That and the rather poor images which make it somewhat difficult to determine both the quality and actual material. There is a great deal of aged bone sheaths on the market these days meant to add both a sense of age and status to old keris. This does not seem a standard material for Minangkabau sheaths AFAIK.
I will say that from what i can see of the hilt, the little fella kinda grows on you.
The blade itself seems to have some age, but i would not consider it a "good" keris per se. It is certain worth some work to clean it up and remove the "crust". If this proves out be an all original ensemble as Detlef suggests then perhaps finding a pendokok for it would be worth the trouble, especially if the material is whalebone (a rarer find than buffalo), which i am not at all convinced it is yet. I would also like to see the fit of sheath to blade. Hopefully Ariel can provide us with better pics when the keris arrives.
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Old 26th January 2013, 11:53 PM   #10
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Thanks, David.
It seems to me that the crusts must be very solid. How would you approach the problem of cleaning? To my "western" taste WD-40 would be the way to go, but the smell will stay. Would it be acceptable keris-wise?
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Old 27th January 2013, 02:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Thanks, David.
It seems to me that the crusts must be very solid. How would you approach the problem of cleaning? To my "western" taste WD-40 would be the way to go, but the smell will stay. Would it be acceptable keris-wise?


Unsweetened Pineapple juice soak .
Scrub every other day .
No Abrasives !
Look in the back of discount (Marshalls, TJ Max) stores for a cheap glass vase as a soaking vessel .

It's traditional .
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Old 27th January 2013, 12:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
The hilt is very charming with very nice details.


Hi Willem,

when you look closely to the pictures you will see that the scabbard is carved exactly in the same style like the hilt and show the same carving skill like the hilt.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 27th January 2013, 12:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
This probably has much to do with my reaction to this keris. That and the rather poor images which make it somewhat difficult to determine both the quality and actual material. There is a great deal of aged bone sheaths on the market these days meant to add both a sense of age and status to old keris. This does not seem a standard material for Minangkabau sheaths AFAIK.
I will say that from what i can see of the hilt, the little fella kinda grows on you.
The blade itself seems to have some age, but i would not consider it a "good" keris per se. It is certain worth some work to clean it up and remove the "crust". If this proves out be an all original ensemble as Detlef suggests then perhaps finding a pendokok for it would be worth the trouble, especially if the material is whalebone (a rarer find than buffalo), which i am not at all convinced it is yet. I would also like to see the fit of sheath to blade. Hopefully Ariel can provide us with better pics when the keris arrives.


Hello David,

the only keris sheaths are carved from bone, and here most of the time from whale bone, are from Sumatra, most of the time Minangkabau, not a very common material but there are examples. What we can see from the unsharp pictures are the hilt and as well the scabbard are well carved.
Regarding the blade I would say that it is from decent quality, I have seen a lot of more worse old blades like this one. IMHO are many from this small Minangkabau keris dress keris where the blades of poor quality. Agree with you that it would be good to see how good the blade fit inside the sheath.

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 27th January 2013, 02:00 PM   #14
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More and hopefully better pics. As you see, he fit seems to be perfect: the blade and the scabbard were " made for each other":-)
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Old 27th January 2013, 02:16 PM   #15
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A quick question: the warangka is made out of a single piece of bone. What kind of a cow or a buffalo bone would be big enough to carve a 5" wide x 1.5" tall x 1" thick solid piece out of i?
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Old 27th January 2013, 03:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
A quick question: the warangka is made out of a single piece of bone. What kind of a cow or a buffalo bone would be big enough to carve a 5" wide x 1.5" tall x 1" thick solid piece out of i?


I don't think that it is carved from one single piece of bone. The hilt is already carved from two pieces. The sheath from the keris from the thread I have posted is from 4 pieces and I think that yours are also from minimum 3 pieces. Like I have written before it could be whale bone but water buffalo is possible as well. The sheath from my one is approx. 26 cm long, how long is yours?

Regards,

Detlef
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Old 27th January 2013, 04:02 PM   #17
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I think the pieces from your sheath are put together at the marked places, have a good look if this is correct.
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Old 27th January 2013, 04:22 PM   #18
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The stem is, of course, put together. The handle too: one can even see the gap, but this is obvious: no bone would have such an angle. I am talking strictly about the warangka: I looked carefully and could not find any joints. I gave it's dimensions above. Any thoughts?
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Old 27th January 2013, 04:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
The stem is, of course, put together. The handle too: one can even see the gap, but this is obvious: no bone would have such an angle. I am talking strictly about the warangka: I looked carefully and could not find any joints. I gave it's dimensions above. Any thoughts?


Like I have written two times before already, most proable whale bone or less possible water buffalo but possible!
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Old 27th January 2013, 07:25 PM   #20
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Here some pictures from a keris which belong to a friend with a very similar sheath. He think that the material is from water buffalo bone and not so very old, maybe around the turn from 19th to 20th century.
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Old 30th January 2013, 06:40 AM   #21
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I would be cautious in ascribing the origin of these bone scabbards to whales. I've been through the other thread and although it is true that whales generally have more spongiose bones (known as cetacean osteosclerosis), compared to other mammal species, it does not translate directly over into a piece of worked material of comparatively diminutive size.

It's not that I don't think it's possible that whale bone was used as keris dress material, but rather that I question the possibility of differentiating it with the naked eye. Does anyone have a historical source for the use of whale bone across the archipelago? I would love to read it and be beyond grateful to anyone who could help.


All the best, - Thor
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