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Old 14th June 2018, 09:43 AM   #1
Anthony G.
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Default Enquiry on a Javanese keris

Is this Javanese Solo keris made by a reputable Empu? It seems to be from 18th century.
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Old 14th June 2018, 10:25 AM   #2
A. G. Maisey
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Anthony, I think we would need very much better photos before we could attempt a detailed appraisal of this keris.

I can tell you this:- the blade is definitely not a Surakarta blade, based upon what I believe I can see from the photos you have posted, I would be inclined towards a Koripan classification; Koripan is a blacksmiths village in Central Jawa, that from around the end of the 18th century produced keris that were modeled in a sort of a way after Mataram Sultan Agung blades, but were very much more crude.

It is an old blade, it is not a particularly good blade, and in my opinion it would be impossible to attribute it to any recognised maker. It is certainly collectable, but do not try to attribute it to any great Empu of past times.

However, bear this in mind:- all of this is opinion, others could have a different opinion and some people can be very convincing.

If you can provide much better photographs I, and others, may be able to comment further.
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Old 14th June 2018, 03:11 PM   #3
Anthony G.
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Hi

Please find attached more photos.
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Old 14th June 2018, 10:43 PM   #4
A. G. Maisey
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Thank you for the close ups Anthony, but I'm sorry, still a long way from what is needed for clarity. However, I can comment a little more.

I said that I was inclined towards a Koripan classification. To confirm Koripan what I would be looking for is:-
perceived weight will be heavy; this is a trap, because when we say "heavy" in this context, we are saying "heavy in comparison with all other old Javanese blades" in fact, Koripan is roughly the same perceived weight as M'ram SA, but if you have not handled a lot of M'ram SA, you cannot possibly know what is meant by "heavy". In any case, if I look at the cross section of this blade, I feel that I would probably consider it to have a heavy perceived weight. The word we use is "tanting", and it is the weight we feel in the hand, thus perceived weight and is affected by balance.

iron will have a medium grain, this is too difficult for me to judge from a photo

pamor will not be sparkling and white but rather dullish/greyish, again too difficult from a photo

the heat treat will be soft, too difficult from a photo

overall visual impression (pawakan) will be large and handsome, which this keris is

the gonjo will have a similar profile to M'ram SA, but will be a bit smaller and a bit thinner, side-on this one qualifies, I do not know what the top looks like, nor how it looks in the hand when visually appraising proportions

gandhik will be similar to M'ram SA, but the kembang kacang will be smaller, thinner, this is the case in this blade.

the blumbangan in a Koripan keris is usually quite shallow, which appears to be the case with this keris, but in Koripan the blumbangan usually does not display pamor, in this keris the blumbangan does show pamor

Koripan sogokan are smallish, poorly contoured (ie, cross section), not deep, and the poyuhan (ie the tip of the sogokan) is more or less rounded; in my opinion, this keris meets those criteria, moreover, by close inspection of the palemahan (base) of the sogokan we can see that the pamor is missing and that the sogokan have gone through into the core, this tells us that although there is pamor showing in the palemahan of the blumbangan, that pamor layer is very, very thin, the blumbangan is already very shallow, I suspect that one or two more cuts with the scraper would remove the pamor completely from the palemahan of the blumbangan.

A Koripan ada-ada is poorly modelled, it is usually only a ridge, not nicely sculpted, not defined, just a ridge, and it becomes less and less distinct the further along the blade you go; this blade appears to have a Koripan ada-ada, but I would need it in my hand to be certain.

kruwingan in a Koripan blade are shallow, and if they exist at all, they only appear in the lower part of the blade, this appears to be so with this blade

the luk in a Koripan blade are rather deep and round if compared with a M'ram Senopati blade, they are very similar to M'ram SA, the luk in this blade most definitely qualify as Koripan.

A Koripan wadidang is quite long, it follows a middle, or moderate line, it will sometimes have a ron dha nunut, there is no mention of a tungkakan in a Koripan blade, but I have handled Koripan blades that do have a tungkakan. I would accept the wadidang on this keris as representative of Koripan.

OK, the above is an example of some of the things I look for when I attempt to appraise or classify a blade, the determination of the classification I decide on is nearly always a decision taken on weight of evidence. In this blade of Anthony's the indicators do not give a perfect reading for Koripan, but the weight is in favour of Koripan, thus, if we say that no, it is not Koripan, then we must be able to say why it is not Koripan, and hopefully nominate a different classification. Now, if we go in this direction, there is really only one other candidate, and that is Godean. The difference between Koripan and Godean is very, very minimal, and far too difficult for me to determine from a photo. One obvious distinguishing feature with Godean is that if it is a waved blade, the point is usually very long. This blade of Anthony's does have a long point, but not markedly so, not enough to influence me to start thinking Godean.

My nomination remains Koripan, my estimation of age is 19th century, this is based on overall erosion of surface and form, it is in pretty good condition, we can see that the pamor cover of the blumbangan palemahan is very thin, if this blade were to be much older than early 19th century, I feel that the degree of erosion would be higher, and we would probably see core material in the palemahan of the blumbangan.

I have not commented on the dress, but it really is very pedestrian, just below average pasar quality. I do not recognise the lambang on the pendok, I have no idea at all what "PS" might stand for. Effectively the wrongko and pendok have very little value, the mendak is old, seems to be in good condition and is OK, I cannot comment on the hilt because I cannot see it.

Something that should be noted is this:- in Jawa, especially Central Jawa, Solo, Jogja, it is very usual, in fact this almost always happens, for a keris salesman to present Koripan keris as Mataram Sultan Agung keris, and then attach the name of either Mpu Kinom or one of the other noted mpus of this era. If a goldfish swims with sharks the sharks will eat the goldfish.
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Old 15th June 2018, 02:02 PM   #5
Anthony G.
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hi, thank you for your info.
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Old 15th June 2018, 04:44 PM   #6
ridho pulungan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Thank you for the close ups Anthony, but I'm sorry, still a long way from what is needed for clarity. However, I can comment a little more.

I said that I was inclined towards a Koripan classification. To confirm Koripan what I would be looking for is:-
perceived weight will be heavy; this is a trap, because when we say "heavy" in this context, we are saying "heavy in comparison with all other old Javanese blades" in fact, Koripan is roughly the same perceived weight as M'ram SA, but if you have not handled a lot of M'ram SA, you cannot possibly know what is meant by "heavy". In any case, if I look at the cross section of this blade, I feel that I would probably consider it to have a heavy perceived weight. The word we use is "tanting", and it is the weight we feel in the hand, thus perceived weight and is affected by balance.

iron will have a medium grain, this is too difficult for me to judge from a photo

pamor will not be sparkling and white but rather dullish/greyish, again too difficult from a photo

the heat treat will be soft, too difficult from a photo

overall visual impression (pawakan) will be large and handsome, which this keris is

the gonjo will have a similar profile to M'ram SA, but will be a bit smaller and a bit thinner, side-on this one qualifies, I do not know what the top looks like, nor how it looks in the hand when visually appraising proportions

gandhik will be similar to M'ram SA, but the kembang kacang will be smaller, thinner, this is the case in this blade.

the blumbangan in a Koripan keris is usually quite shallow, which appears to be the case with this keris, but in Koripan the blumbangan usually does not display pamor, in this keris the blumbangan does show pamor

Koripan sogokan are smallish, poorly contoured (ie, cross section), not deep, and the poyuhan (ie the tip of the sogokan) is more or less rounded; in my opinion, this keris meets those criteria, moreover, by close inspection of the palemahan (base) of the sogokan we can see that the pamor is missing and that the sogokan have gone through into the core, this tells us that although there is pamor showing in the palemahan of the blumbangan, that pamor layer is very, very thin, the blumbangan is already very shallow, I suspect that one or two more cuts with the scraper would remove the pamor completely from the palemahan of the blumbangan.

A Koripan ada-ada is poorly modelled, it is usually only a ridge, not nicely sculpted, not defined, just a ridge, and it becomes less and less distinct the further along the blade you go; this blade appears to have a Koripan ada-ada, but I would need it in my hand to be certain.

kruwingan in a Koripan blade are shallow, and if they exist at all, they only appear in the lower part of the blade, this appears to be so with this blade

the luk in a Koripan blade are rather deep and round if compared with a M'ram Senopati blade, they are very similar to M'ram SA, the luk in this blade most definitely qualify as Koripan.

A Koripan wadidang is quite long, it follows a middle, or moderate line, it will sometimes have a ron dha nunut, there is no mention of a tungkakan in a Koripan blade, but I have handled Koripan blades that do have a tungkakan. I would accept the wadidang on this keris as representative of Koripan.

OK, the above is an example of some of the things I look for when I attempt to appraise or classify a blade, the determination of the classification I decide on is nearly always a decision taken on weight of evidence. In this blade of Anthony's the indicators do not give a perfect reading for Koripan, but the weight is in favour of Koripan, thus, if we say that no, it is not Koripan, then we must be able to say why it is not Koripan, and hopefully nominate a different classification. Now, if we go in this direction, there is really only one other candidate, and that is Godean. The difference between Koripan and Godean is very, very minimal, and far too difficult for me to determine from a photo. One obvious distinguishing feature with Godean is that if it is a waved blade, the point is usually very long. This blade of Anthony's does have a long point, but not markedly so, not enough to influence me to start thinking Godean.

My nomination remains Koripan, my estimation of age is 19th century, this is based on overall erosion of surface and form, it is in pretty good condition, we can see that the pamor cover of the blumbangan palemahan is very thin, if this blade were to be much older than early 19th century, I feel that the degree of erosion would be higher, and we would probably see core material in the palemahan of the blumbangan.

I have not commented on the dress, but it really is very pedestrian, just below average pasar quality. I do not recognise the lambang on the pendok, I have no idea at all what "PS" might stand for. Effectively the wrongko and pendok have very little value, the mendak is old, seems to be in good condition and is OK, I cannot comment on the hilt because I cannot see it.

Something that should be noted is this:- in Jawa, especially Central Jawa, Solo, Jogja, it is very usual, in fact this almost always happens, for a keris salesman to present Koripan keris as Mataram Sultan Agung keris, and then attach the name of either Mpu Kinom or one of the other noted mpus of this era. If a goldfish swims with sharks the sharks will eat the goldfish.


Full of information, heavy loaded knowledge comment.!!.
This such information and knowledges that i'm looking for in this forum.
Thanks a lot Alan.
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Old 15th June 2018, 10:12 PM   #7
A. G. Maisey
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Ridho, it is true that with my previous post to this thread I went a little bit further in talking about classification parameters than I usually do. I did this because the photos were adequate to permit some relevant comment, and because the subject is close to a textbook example of Koripan.

I also felt that my comment on the false presentation of Koripan as M'ram SA needed to be made. Actually, one of the best indicators of the real identity of a blade is what a legitimate dealer will ask for it.

Koripan might be presented as M'ram Kinom, but the price will only be maybe double what Koripan is worth.

But if a blade by Kinom or Guling or similar is genuinely able to be classified as this, and it is in good condition, then you can start thinking in terms of very, very heavy money.

Heavy money? What is heavy money? Well we do not talk specific values here, this Forum is about keris understanding, not about keris prices, but put it this way:- you can buy a very nice small car for what you would pay for high quality keris attributable to a highly ranked empu.

I will very, very rarely go out on a limb on the evidence of a photograph, as I have in this case.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 15th June 2018 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 17th June 2018, 03:21 PM   #8
Jean
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Hello Alan,
Very informative and impressive description of the Koripan blades and their distinction from Mataram SA ones, thank you!
Regards
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