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Old 12th May 2011, 09:51 PM   #1
Gustav
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Default Stunning early kris

Dear All,

just wanted to share some pictures I found on net. Would be nice to read some comments on it.
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Old 12th May 2011, 11:05 PM   #2
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Beautiful piece. I can't help but think I have seen it within these pages before though....love the twist core and the hilt, well that's just stunning...if only there was preservation of the sheath.

Gav
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Old 12th May 2011, 11:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebooter
Beautiful piece. I can't help but think I have seen it within these pages before though....love the twist core and the hilt, well that's just stunning...if only there was preservation of the sheath.

Gav
I've had the same feeling. It was discussed not so long ago here on the forum, try to search button and I'm sure you will find it..

Kind Regards,
Maurice
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Old 12th May 2011, 11:48 PM   #4
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There are some interesting features on it. To describe them I am forced to use Javanese terms for Ricikan (features on keris blade), for reference please look at http://www.kerisattosanaji.com/kerisdiagram.html

A very interesting detail is Lambe Gajah, which starts at the upper end of Tampingan and falls in nice curvature: such Lambe Gajah is found on kerisses in early european collections before 1700, later mainly on Balinese keris. I have the impression, on later Javanese keris it often don't start directly at Tampingan or do start lover then upper end of it.

A feature common to most Kris blades are the notches at the front side of Gonjo (under Gandhik) - also found on Javanese blades mainly before 1700 and on Balinese also after.

Why this all? Most probably I am constructing bicycle for the second time

now and this only shows my ignorance, yet have some interest to know, which part of archipelago influenced the origin of Philippines Kris and at what time the it appeared. Clear is, it preserved some arhaic (or better classic) features of Javanese Keris.

Regarding the hilt: has anybody seen something similar, some thoughts on ornamentation? Intriguing is, there is clearly a division in Mendak and Selut, and Selut is resembling Balinese Selut a lot.
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Old 13th May 2011, 12:19 AM   #5
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Okay, here it is: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ighlight=brett

It seems, here are more pictures of it now. Would be very interesting to hear more thoughts and arguments on it.
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Old 13th May 2011, 02:42 AM   #6
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Gorgeous piece! Transitional/early Kris are my absolute favourite, especially the half-waved twistcores, and this is a piece definitely worth envy!

(Now I want one of my own even more )

Does anyone know the regional origin of this piece? I've heard it being discussed as a Sulu piece on this forum, but I'm wondering what indicators are there that clue into it being from Sulu? (I'm wondering... is it the elephant mouth/trunk shape, and the thin/shallow fullers separating the twisted core from the outer edge steel?)

Conversely I could be completely wrong in my recollections and if so, where do pieces like this magnificent example hail from?
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Old 13th May 2011, 03:10 AM   #7
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The Sulu attribution comes from the "elephant" on the ganga and the angle of the mouth opening.

And on the hilt form - it is old and rare but present on some Moro pieces. I have seen only 2 of these on Moro kris and both were made of silver.
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Old 13th May 2011, 04:04 AM   #8
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ah, Thanks for the clarification, Jose!

I thought it had something to do with the angle of the "elephant" opening as well.

A follow up question, then: Around the time that this piece was made, were Kris introduced/being made in Mindanao? If so, what did those pieces look like?
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Old 13th May 2011, 06:21 AM   #9
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amazing! i can imagine a point in time when this type of kris was en vogue... now, would that be considered as a jawa demam?
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Old 13th May 2011, 08:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
now, would that be considered as a jawa demam?
I certainly would think so, and surrounded by magic!!!
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:40 PM   #11
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is that what jawa demam's known for? i don't know anything about keris hilts. reason i asked is because i've seen an ivory version of this hilt, but on a later kris.
i'm wondering why this type of hilt didn't proliferate on later krises...
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Old 13th May 2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePepperSkull
ah, Thanks for the clarification, Jose!

I thought it had something to do with the angle of the "elephant" opening as well.

A follow up question, then: Around the time that this piece was made, were Kris introduced/being made in Mindanao? If so, what did those pieces look like?
Your welcome.

You ask a good question. Unfortunately I don't have a good answer.
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Old 13th May 2011, 09:26 PM   #13
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It seems to me, the only way at least partially to answer these questions (which are also mine questions from #4) is to analyse several details on blade, which are more or less proved regarding the time of their appearance - for this one should be knowledgable in Javanese keris, especially in Tangguh system and in keris from old european collections.

and analyse the ornamentics on hilt, find analog features, which are in some form bound to a time frame. I think we have the most gratifying object here for such analysis before us.
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Old 13th May 2011, 09:47 PM   #14
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Regarding the hilt, Cato says that sultan pieces were sometimes covered in gold dots - like this one. This one seems to be a transitional piece between Indonesian and Moro periods.

Who owns this one anyway?
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Old 14th May 2011, 02:32 AM   #15
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This begs so many questions .

When was the keris/kris first introduced into the Philippines ?

Where in the Philippines was it first introduced ?
Sulu ?
Mindanao ?
Or,
Borneo ?

By whom ?
Peninsular Malays ?
Sumatera/Jawa ?
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Old 14th May 2011, 03:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
This begs so many questions .

When was the keris/kris first introduced into the Philippines ?

Where in the Philippines was it first introduced ?
Sulu ?
Mindanao ?
Or,
Borneo ?

By whom ?
Peninsular Malays ?
Sumatera/Jawa ?
My understanding is from Brunei and first into Sulu, at least according to tradition. I think there were 7 datus who traveled.
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Old 14th May 2011, 05:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Regarding the hilt, Cato says that sultan pieces were sometimes covered in gold dots - like this one. This one seems to be a transitional piece between Indonesian and Moro periods.

Who owns this one anyway?

Not I, Jose... Remember this piece? The "one that got away?" I still feel a slight burn when I think about it...
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Old 14th May 2011, 01:35 PM   #18
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did you ever found out who got it, chris? certainly what you got was excellent as well. good provenance!
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Old 14th May 2011, 06:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spunjer
did you ever found out who got it, chris? certainly what you got was excellent as well. good provenance!

Hi Spunjer,

Never did find out who the lucky recipient was, though I do know what they paid for it... Upon further consideration, I figured I could count out the most likely local (potential) buyers on one hand. Unfortunately, none of them are ever motivated to sell out of their respective collections, so I've never made a serious attempt to independently track down its new home...

Thanks, BTW... I do feel fortunate to have acquired 3 of the 4 pieces out of this collection, and appreciate the consolation as such. I guess it's just human nature to lament the "one that got away."

Regards,

Chris
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Old 14th May 2011, 09:15 PM   #20
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you know, what is so interesting in that set that you acquired, is the fact that it came with a barung. if this set was indeed captured during the battle against datu udasan, what was the barung doing in there? a suluanon merc? or was the barung carried by a maranao? if the latter was the case, is the present static assumption of these weapons still stands? again, if these were indeed captured weapons, i guess the assumption that one of the moros (perhaps datu udasan himself) owned this archaic kris, and that would be amazing in that going to a battle with (perhaps) centuries old weapon that your life depends on.
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Old 14th May 2011, 10:34 PM   #21
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There could also be a possibility he acquired the pieces he liked from other soldiers, the krisses are showing taste. It seems to me, it is questionable he got the whole lot in one battle. I think many soldiers were more or less latent collectors.

I copied my speculative and suggestive post from the other thread, just to hold the information together for later:

Here some information from "Indonesian ornamental design" by van der Hoop, 1949, which still is a reference work for this region, and at least the kris hilt is coming from the neighborhood: the whole shape of this panel he calls a "mirror panel", and it is a chinese motif according to him, mostly found with other, like rock and cloud border, in Cirebon. Of course Ming ceramic is full of this kind of panels.

Of course this motif seems to be of Cetral-Asian origin; China absorbed much from the cultures of this region, particularly in the period of Yuan dynasty, many people in the administration at this time were muslims. Later many of chinese seamen, which participated in the great expeditions were muslims, most famous beeing Zheng He. Indonesian scholar Slamet Muljana writes: "Zheng He built Chinese Muslim communities first in Palembang, then in San Fa (West Kalimantan), subsequently he founded similar communities along the shores of Java, the Malay Peninsula and the Philippines. They preached Islam according to the Hanafi school of thought and in Chinese language."

It probably would be a long shot (as Gavin says), yet the origin of the motiv IN the panel could most probably be derived from the tree of life, at least regarding kris hilt.

(The other thread in question: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=13789)
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Last edited by Gustav; 14th May 2011 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 15th May 2011, 12:55 AM   #22
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Vegetable motifs are all over the world. But the okir, a type of vegetable motif, is specific. Interesting though how similarities "crop up" (every pun intended ).

Yes Chris, sadly I remember. Wish I had it - was willing to pay good money for it too (and now the depression sets in ).
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Old 15th May 2011, 11:44 AM   #23
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Jose,

what are the biggest differences here compared to later okir work, could you please describe them? Thank you !
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Old 16th May 2011, 05:07 AM   #24
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Well, Sulu okir work became more realistic but Maranao/Maguindanao okir work became more stylized. This is the simplistic version.
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Old 16th May 2011, 03:03 PM   #25
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I tried to resist commenting on this, but it is futile. This is a stunning piece. These types are one of my favorite things to collect. They are few and far between and well worthy of the hunt. I just wish I could stumble on lots the way some of you guys do.
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