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Old 23rd March 2008, 03:54 PM   #1
hoorn178
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Default Bali keris for comment

Dear all,
Please see enclosed pictures. Can anyone tell me something about the hilt / which god or demon? (the hilt is ivory, I have placed new onyx and ruby stones in the original holes / but in such a way that they can be deleted again from the hilt without any damage). What about the complete picture of the keris. Do the parts fit or are they replacements?

Thanks,
Bart.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Well, i think it would be hard (for me at least) to come to too many conclusions about this keris based on these 2 pictures. I suggest you try to show us much closer, detailed images.
My first impression, however, is that if the carving on the ivory is good and detailed and indeed old that it seems a bit of a mismatch for the blade, which seems a bit more middle class.
How's the fit in the sheath? Do you think it was made for this blade?
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Old 23rd March 2008, 07:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Well, i think it would be hard (for me at least) to come to too many conclusions about this keris based on these 2 pictures. I suggest you try to show us much closer, detailed images.
My first impression, however, is that if the carving on the ivory is good and detailed and indeed old that it seems a bit of a mismatch for the blade, which seems a bit more middle class.
How's the fit in the sheath? Do you think it was made for this blade?


Nice to hear from you David!. The blade seems to fit well. Although it sinks a little bit in the sheath but I think that is because of wear. Enclosed some more pictures. I agree that the blade, on first site, looks a bit simple. But when looking closer the pamor is not bad.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 09:48 PM   #4
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At first sight I would say the scabbard is a bit worn out. The blade fits pretty well in the scabbard mouth.

A close up picture of the front of the ukiran would be more helpful like the fourth picture of the backside of the ukiran. The onyx stones in the mouth are a little bit too much in my opinion.

Oil the blade well to prevent from further rusting. Maybe you can remove the rust between the blade and the gonjo with rubbing with oil.
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Old 25th March 2008, 01:11 AM   #5
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This form is not recognizable to me. It may be a mismatch in the mendak and other parts of the hilt.

Also, I don't think the onyx belongs there.
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Old 28th March 2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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I have never seen a hilt in this form.
So why add the ruby and onyx ?

I like the selut.

Do you have pictures of the bottom of the Ukiran without the selut/mendak ?

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 28th March 2008, 06:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
I have never seen a hilt in this form.
So why add the ruby and onyx ?

I like the selut.

Do you have pictures of the bottom of the Ukiran without the selut/mendak ?

Best regards,
Willem


Hoi Willem,

Mijn camera heeft kuren en foto's maken lukt me even niet . Wanneer ik het handsvat los maak ziet het er in ieder geval oud uit. De steentjes is een probeersel maar kunnen er zo weer uit (ze zijn alweer weg). Er zitten gaatjes waar volgens mij vroeger iets in heeft gezeten. Ik vind het geheel van de keris wel erg mooi. Je ziet het inderdaad niet veel. Ook is de keris wat kleiner dan een gemiddelde Bali kris. Dat de batun puh schede niet zou passen bij het luxe handsvat vind ikzelf niet. Kijk maar eens op de voorpagina van "The Kris a passion from Indonesia" by Jean Greffioz. Of de foto bijgesloten waar je ook een batun puh schede ziet in combinatie met een luxe handsvat (de man in het midden op de stoel / zie je de ronding van het schip van de batun puh schede op z'n rug).

Groetjes,
Bart.
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Old 28th March 2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoorn178
Hoi Willem,

Mijn camera heeft kuren en foto's maken lukt me even niet . Wanneer ik het handsvat los maak ziet het er in ieder geval oud uit. De steentjes is een probeersel maar kunnen er zo weer uit (ze zijn alweer weg). Er zitten gaatjes waar volgens mij vroeger iets in heeft gezeten. Ik vind het geheel van de keris wel erg mooi. Je ziet het inderdaad niet veel. Ook is de keris wat kleiner dan een gemiddelde Bali kris. Dat de batun puh schede niet zou passen bij het luxe handsvat vind ikzelf niet. Kijk maar eens op de voorpagina van "The Kris a passion from Indonesia" by Jean Greffioz. Of de foto bijgesloten waar je ook een batun puh schede ziet in combinatie met een luxe handsvat (de man in het midden op de stoel / zie je de ronding van het schip van de batun puh schede op z'n rug).

Groetjes,
Bart.


O...o..sorry for the Dutch.....If requested I will translate.
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Old 28th March 2008, 06:59 PM   #9
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Yes, we tend to be an international forum, althoug you meet a lot of dutch guys here

Nice picture of these balinese royals.

is anyone developing a time machine
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Old 28th March 2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Yes, we tend to be an international forum, althoug you meet a lot of dutch guys here

Nice picture of these balinese royals.

is anyone developing a time machine


I have a lot of these pictures. They look nice next to matching kerissen on the wall. See picture.
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Old 28th March 2008, 07:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoorn178
Hoi Willem,

Mijn camera heeft kuren en foto's maken lukt me even niet . Wanneer ik het handsvat los maak ziet het er in ieder geval oud uit. De steentjes is een probeersel maar kunnen er zo weer uit (ze zijn alweer weg). Er zitten gaatjes waar volgens mij vroeger iets in heeft gezeten. Ik vind het geheel van de keris wel erg mooi. Je ziet het inderdaad niet veel. Ook is de keris wat kleiner dan een gemiddelde Bali kris. Dat de batun puh schede niet zou passen bij het luxe handsvat vind ikzelf niet. Kijk maar eens op de voorpagina van "The Kris a passion from Indonesia" by Jean Greffioz. Of de foto bijgesloten waar je ook een batun puh schede ziet in combinatie met een luxe handsvat (de man in het midden op de stoel / zie je de ronding van het schip van de batun puh schede op z'n rug).

Groetjes,
Bart.

Yes Bart, we do request that any non-English passages be full translated. Please let us know the meaning of this paragraph.
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Old 28th March 2008, 07:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
Yes Bart, we do request that any non-English passages be full translated. Please let us know the meaning of this paragraph.


I will try.

It says that my camera is not working OK and so it is difficult to make pictures. Furthermore I think ovrall it is a nice keris which you do not see a lot. Also looking at the hild when seperate from the blade. The hild looks old at the bottum. A combination of a luxe hild with a batun puh kris looks not obvious but look at the front page of the book "The Kris a passion from Indonesia" by Jean Greffioz. and enclosd picture (guy in the chair with batun puh kris on his back).

Sorry again for the dutch
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Old 28th March 2008, 11:44 PM   #13
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This Bali handle has had perplexed me from the moment I saw it.

The head is not a form that I have previously encountered, and it seems not to be a human head form at all, certainly not a form that I can even remotely associate with any of the more usual representations on Balinese keris handles.

Stylistically it most certainly has some age to it, and it displays a strength and vitality that is often lacking in later 20th century carvings, no matter how technically superb these later carvings may be.

The two black stones that Hoorn tells us he placed in the holes in the handle have caused me considerable confusion, so in the picture that is attached, I have removed them. We can now see clearly the outline of the space that surrounds the holes where Hoorn placed the black stones, we can also see the orientation of the eyes, and features of the head above the eyes.

In the left hand of this figure a feather is grasped.

I have spent considerable time researching attributes of both original Hindu deities and their Balinese versions to try to find a deity with the attribute of a feather. One by one I have eliminated all of the usual suspects.

So, what we have is a figure of human form with a feather grasped in the left hand, but with a head that cannot in any way be regarded as human, and an opening in the front of the head, where a mouth would normally be, that comes to a peak at the top, and has a rounded form flowing from the declines from the peak.

The form of this "mouth" opening is precisely the form of the cross-section of an eagle's beak at its base.

Garuda in Jawa-Bali art is very often represented in anthropomorphous form, that is, with a human body and an eagle's head. One of the earliest representations of Garuda in this form is to be found in the 8th century Dieng temple complex, on Candi Banon.

Now imagine this hilt figure with a beak projecting from the place where Hoorn has inserted a couple of black stones. The holes were to support the glued attachment of the beak; the beak was glued in place because the material was insufficient to allow it to be carved from the solid--- this type of attachment is not at all unusual in Balinese carvings.

Then we have the feather.

Based upon what I can see in these photographs , it is my opinion that this hilt figure could be a representation of Garuda, that has lost its beak.
As always there is the qualification that my opinion could change if I were to handle this hilt figure.
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Old 29th March 2008, 01:29 AM   #14
Amuk Murugul
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Default JATAYU or GARUDA?

Hullo everybody,

The two most famous(?) Hindu epics in the Nusantara archipelago are: Ramayana, Mahabrata.
Two well-known bird-figures from these epics are: Jatayu (vulture?) from Ramayana, Garuda (eagle?) from Mahabrata. ( Jatayu was/is the son/nephew of Garuda, depending on which version you follow).

Depictions of these figures are quite common. Sometimes, one is mistaken for the other.

In keeping with the assumed origin of the hilt, I have looked at Balinese depictions and have found one without a beak.
For those interested, please follow this link:

http://www.travel-images.com/photo-indonesia6.html

Best.
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Old 29th March 2008, 01:35 AM   #15
A. G. Maisey
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That is indeed a very interesting image of Garuda.

I cannot help but wonder if perhaps Mona Sturges somehow got her notes confused.
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Old 29th March 2008, 01:52 AM   #16
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Hullo Alan,

Yes, I wondered that also.
My first impression was: Buta/Raksasa... or even Sugriwa.
But... I gave the written word the benefit of the doubt.

Best.
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Old 29th March 2008, 04:13 AM   #17
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It would be very relaxing if I could also accept every error that I see in print, regrettably I have been around for far too long, and am carrying far too much baggage to allow me to act in such a way.

I have no problem at all with allowing Mona to continue to believe that she has published a photograph of an image of Garuda---just so long that image stays exactly where it belongs.

I rather feel that if we could see the back of this image we might find that Mona's "Garuda" has tail not unlike that of a monkey.
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Old 29th March 2008, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
It would be very relaxing if I could also accept every error that I see in print, regrettably I have been around for far too long, and am carrying far too much baggage to allow me to act in such a way.

I have no problem at all with allowing Mona to continue to believe that she has published a photograph of an image of Garuda---just so long that image stays exactly where it belongs.

I rather feel that if we could see the back of this image we might find that Mona's "Garuda" has tail not unlike that of a monkey.


Thank you all very much for the input.!! When I look close to the mouth of the ivory hilt figure you can see some small teeth. That gives me doubt that there use to be a beak. I also showed the hilt to a friend of mine (not a keris expert) who is a jewelry / goldsmit and he was pretty sure that the holes in the mouth were made for stones of some kind.
Anyway as some forum members have said. Finding out about keris hilt figurs is very difficult. You all know so much more than me so Thanks again for your interesting input.
Best regards,
Bart van Hoorn.

Last edited by hoorn178 : 29th March 2008 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 29th March 2008, 12:13 PM   #19
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Default Garuda

Some other pictures of Balinese Garuda.

Some other Hindu variant [ 1 ], [ 2 ]
- accompanying text -
The story of Garuda’s birth and deeds is told in the first book of the great epic Mahabharata. According to the epic, when Garuda first burst forth from his egg, he appeared as a raging inferno equal to the cosmic conflagration that consumes the world at the end of every age. Frightened, the gods begged him for mercy. Garuda, hearing their plea, reduced himself in size and energy.
- end -

Just sharing these images. What significance it have on this topic, I do not know.
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Old 29th March 2008, 01:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoorn178
Dear all,
Please see enclosed pictures. Can anyone tell me something about the hilt / which god or demon?



I think the hilt look like one of syimbol of demon for balinese ( BUTE KALE ).
The big open mouth is a syimbol of greedy for this bad spirit.
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Last edited by brekele : 29th March 2008 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 29th March 2008, 04:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoorn178
I will try.

It says that my camera is not working OK and so it is difficult to make pictures. Furthermore I think ovrall it is a nice keris which you do not see a lot. Also looking at the hild when seperate from the blade. The hild looks old at the bottum. A combination of a luxe hild with a batun puh kris looks not obvious but look at the front page of the book "The Kris a passion from Indonesia" by Jean Greffioz. and enclosd picture (guy in the chair with batun puh kris on his back).

Sorry again for the dutch

Bart, no problem about the Dutch....as long as you also provide a translation.
BTW, if i am not mistaken, the "guy in the chair" in your picture is none other than Gusti Ktut Djilantik (also spelt Jelantik), who was the Raja of Bulelung in the latter part of the 19th century. He is not to be confused with the "rebellious" and colorful prince of the same name whose famous cry "Let the keris decide!" preceded the Dutch punitive expeditions of 1846-49 and who died in an ambush at the end of that war.

Last edited by David : 30th March 2008 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 29th March 2008, 11:57 PM   #22
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As I noted in my qualification:-

As always there is the qualification that my opinion could change if I were to handle this hilt figure.

In the photos I cannot see teeth, and I have no idea what the holes were like that now hold jewels. What I can see is a "mouth" shape that corresponds to the cross section of a beak, a head shape that does not correspond to any head shape I recognise in Balinese figures, and a feather in the left hand. Additionally, the interior of the "mouth" area appears to be unfinished, ie, unpolished. I can also see that the fangs indicative of a demon-type figure are not present.

Any Balinese keris hilt can be confusing, because Balinese carvers did not in the past, and do not now, stick with correct Hindu representations of the various deities, and the representations of non-Hindu figures can vary from carver to carver, or perhaps from client to client. As was once remarked to me by a leading authority in South East Asian art, the only person who truly knows the identity of a carved figure is the carver.

However, in Balinese art, there are certain conventions that are universally followed, even when interpretation of those conventions varies. The facial features of a figure will hold the clues to the category of the figure, there are distinct forms for eyes, mouth , nose, lips, that tell us whether a character is male or female, refined or unrefined, a god, a human, a demon---and so on.For instance if a figure is a buta or a kala (demon forms) it will have bulging eyes, and will nearly always have fangs, but there is the occasional rare representation of each form without fangs.The non-demon form will have an almond shaped eye, but the variety of forms in this overall general almond shape will provide guidance as to further categorisation.

Similarly the body shape gives indications of a figure's nature. Demon forms are usually extremes of human ugliness:- elongated and bony, or short, thick, fat. The forms of deities are in accordance with standards for human beauty, the forms for warriors are muscular and athletic---and so on. The Balinese artist does not give a beautiful, or athletic form to a demon, nor does he give an ugly, ill concieved form to a deity.

In a form that represents a combination of animal and human characteristics, there is an attempt to bring these characteristics together in a natural and harmonious way, for instance in Balinese representations of Ganesha, there is never a neck that reflects human form, the neck is invariably thick and muscular, gradually merging into human shoulders, but very powerful human shoulders. Thus, the area of transformation from human to animal will also give an indication of the identity of a figure.

If we bear these very basic rules of Balinese artistic convention in mind when we consider this figure under discussion, what is it that we see?

Yes, I know there is a lack of clear detail in the image, but it can easily be seen that this figure is strong, well muscled and athletic.

Better detail in the image would assist, but try as I might I cannot see any lips surrounding the mouth area of this figure. Mouths have lips, and those lips assist in telling us who or what the character is.

I repeat, if I were to handle this figure I could very easily change my opinion, but for the time being, I think I'll hold on to it.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey : 30th March 2008 at 10:46 PM.
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