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Old 18th September 2012, 09:29 AM   #1
satsujinken
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Default query on Jalak Budho Keris

Hello all

now it's my time to ask for your help

I was offered this keris by friend of mine

it is said to be found buried quite deep in the remote village in central java, found by a farmer digging for well - said to be found in pair. Sadly the other is said to be corroded / damaged beyond restoration.

as from the texture of the metal, which already stone-like, this was judged as Singosari Era made

but I am not sure, as the degree of preservation is somewhat too good, even though the keris already lost section of landepan (cutting edge) in the forefront section

I haven't decide whether to purchase this one or not yet
your expert opinion is expected

Donny
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satsujinken
....but I am not sure, as the degree of preservation is somewhat too good, even though the keris already lost section of landepan (cutting edge) in the forefront section

I haven't decide whether to purchase this one or not yet
your expert opinion is expected

Well Donny, let me first say that i wouldn't hold my breathe expecting "expert" opinions on this forum. We are pretty much all students here,albeit some more enlightened than others.
Personally i agree with you that the degree of preservation seems a bit too good for an iron object that has been buried deep in the ground for centuries. This keris form is often seen made by current age makers and artificially aged for an ancient look. Use your own discretion...

Last edited by David : 20th September 2012 at 01:55 AM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:11 PM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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This is what we call a "Keris Buda", or a keris of the form that was present in the Buda period of Jawa, that is, the Javanese-Hindu period, both Early Classical and Late Classical.

This type of keris has usually been found buried, often with other objects of value, such as bronze statuettes or bronze bells.Sometimes one or more of the other objects will have corroded into almost nothing whilst one object will be almost untouched by corrosion. It should be noted that pure iron tends to be much less affected by corrosion than impure iron or iron containing carbon (steel).

However --- in recent years some very good reproductions of this type of keris have been floating around. For at least 30 years there has been a gentleman, and probably his son, working in the Malang-Singosari area who have produced very fine deliberate forgeries. When I say "deliberate" what I mean is that in this case the maker has set out to produce an object intended to deceive. Usually it is the middle men who turn perfectly good new keris into forgeries, but in the case of this type of keris, if it has been produced by these extremely skilled gentlemen, they set out to deceive from the moment they lit the forge fire. Even before, because they would have searched out the correct iron for the job, not such an impossible task in Jawa.

If this keris is genuine it should be very, very highly priced. Everybody who deals in keris and other antiques in Jawa knows the value of these blades. They do not come cheap. If this keris is relatively affordable it is very probably not the real thing.

It is absolutely impossible for me to give an opinion on authenticity from a photograph.

I do have a small collection of Keris Buda, currently 8 or 10 pieces, of which possibly two are not from the Buda period. I have seen and handled a lot more, and have focussed my attention on this keris form almost exclusively since the early 1980's.
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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At first, I should say, I never have seen a Keris Buda, only pictures of some examples.

This is the first Keris Buda depicted I see without sogokan of some kind. Or more accurately, all pictures of blades I have seen, which supposedly are genuine, do have sogokan.

As I understand, judging from pictures I have seen, the gonjo of a Keris Buda holds its thickness towards Buntut Urang, so the gonjo seems to be thicker then the blade at the end of Wadidang. Yet here I possibly have wrongly interpreted the pictures I have seen.

On this Keris there seems to be no such feature.

Last edited by Gustav : 19th September 2012 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:51 PM   #5
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Gustav, there are KB's without sogokan; the sogokan came later, but before the appearance of the Modern Keris.
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Old 19th September 2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Thank you, Alan, for clarifying this for me.
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Old 20th September 2012, 02:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
This is what we call a "Keris Buda", or a keris of the form that was present in the Buda period of Jawa, that is, the Javanese-Hindu period, both Early Classical and Late Classical.

This type of keris has usually been found buried, often with other objects of value, such as bronze statuettes or bronze bells.Sometimes one or more of the other objects will have corroded into almost nothing whilst one object will be almost untouched by corrosion. It should be noted that pure iron tends to be much less affected by corrosion than impure iron or iron containing carbon (steel).


this is a very enlightening information, Thank you very much
so basically the story checked - as it was found buried, perhaps as part of upacara / ritual for the rice field ? to yield a good harvest or something ?

now there is another information from the seller I would like to share

he said that this blade cannot be stained (warangi), as the color remains the same (stone like) - is this common for the type of metal ??

I mean does this means that the keris is made with "rather primitive" technology, before they put pamor into it and still using pure iron instead of steel ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
However --- in recent years some very good reproductions of this type of keris have been floating around. For at least 30 years there has been a gentleman, and probably his son, working in the Malang-Singosari area who have produced very fine deliberate forgeries. When I say "deliberate" what I mean is that in this case the maker has set out to produce an object intended to deceive. Usually it is the middle men who turn perfectly good new keris into forgeries, but in the case of this type of keris, if it has been produced by these extremely skilled gentlemen, they set out to deceive from the moment they lit the forge fire. Even before, because they would have searched out the correct iron for the job, not such an impossible task in Jawa.


errr ... Malang is my hometown ... and I am very curious on where did they make replica of older keris in Singosari (18 km from Malang), as I travel back to Malang every weekend

could you elaborate the address or the approximate location ?
it will be very delightful to see how people make reproduction of old keris

Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
If this keris is genuine it should be very, very highly priced. Everybody who deals in keris and other antiques in Jawa knows the value of these blades. They do not come cheap. If this keris is relatively affordable it is very probably not the real thing.

It is absolutely impossible for me to give an opinion on authenticity from a photograph.

I do have a small collection of Keris Buda, currently 8 or 10 pieces, of which possibly two are not from the Buda period. I have seen and handled a lot more, and have focussed my attention on this keris form almost exclusively since the early 1980's.


I will try to contact the seller and let you know the result
and if I managed to ask for more pictures, could you help me by informing what should I look at as indicators of fraud ?
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Old 20th September 2012, 02:53 AM   #8
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Default example of known singosari tangguh keris

in addition

this is what I expect in singosari era keris in terms of corrosion level compared to the age (around 750 years)

this one belonged to a collector, and known as Singosari era keris

luk 5, kelengan (without pamor) - or well perhaps the pamor is destroyed due to corrosion - who knows ...
and the odd thing is the peksi / pesi is squared (not rounded) - or my eyes deceiving me
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Old 20th September 2012, 03:44 AM   #9
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"A picture is worth a thousand words."

Whether these thousand words are the truth or not is entirely another matter .
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Old 20th September 2012, 03:58 AM   #10
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Donny, the vital factor in keris preservation is how it has been kept; a very old keris may not look very old.

It is believed that the reason that keris and bronze objects are found buried is that they were buried to keep them safe. In olden times Jawa was not like it is now. Cultivated areas were much less, there was a lot of forest. No proper roads, just foot tracks and an occasional bigger track. A lot of travel was by sea and river. Armed bands of bandits wandered the land and robbed the settled inhabitants. If a band of robbers was in the area people would bury their valuable goods to prevent theft. This happened in WWII and during the struggle that followed WWII also. If the people who did the burying were killed, or forgot or could not locate the buried goods, they stayed there until such time somebody chanced upon them while doing farm work or whatever.

As for the gentleman in the Malang-Singosari area, sorry Donny, you already know too much.

The blade will stain if it is ferric material, but it can only stain in accordance with the type of ferric material that it is, which will probably be greyish and without any contrast. There is the possibility that the seller does not want it cleaned and stained because once clean you might see something that he doesn't want to be seen, like gas or electric weld spots, or something else that will indicate it is not as old as he wants you to think it is. Take note of the asking price, this will be your best indicator.
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Old 20th September 2012, 04:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Donny, the vital factor in keris preservation is how it has been kept; a very old keris may not look very old.

It is believed that the reason that keris and bronze objects are found buried is that they were buried to keep them safe. In olden times Jawa was not like it is now. Cultivated areas were much less, there was a lot of forest. No proper roads, just foot tracks and an occasional bigger track. A lot of travel was by sea and river. Armed bands of bandits wandered the land and robbed the settled inhabitants. If a band of robbers was in the area people would bury their valuable goods to prevent theft. This happened in WWII and during the struggle that followed WWII also. If the people who did the burying were killed, or forgot or could not locate the buried goods, they stayed there until such time somebody chanced upon them while doing farm work or whatever.

As for the gentleman in the Malang-Singosari area, sorry Donny, you already know too much.

The blade will stain if it is ferric material, but it can only stain in accordance with the type of ferric material that it is, which will probably be greyish and without any contrast. There is the possibility that the seller does not want it cleaned and stained because once clean you might see something that he doesn't want to be seen, like gas or electric weld spots, or something else that will indicate it is not as old as he wants you to think it is. Take note of the asking price, this will be your best indicator.


thank you, for the enlightenment - really appreciate it

about the gentleman in Singosari ?? mmm ... last year if I'm not mistaken, I got an offer to re-stain and traditionally maintain (jamasan) of my collection for a price, but I decline the offer due to the price offered is too high (for me)

could be this person who made it ?? (besalen dan galeri keris 'Condro Aji' in - Jalan Tumapel 59 Singosari), if so, I am very interested to pay him a visit ...

back to topic

I will update all information regarding this one. I already sent request to the seller (which located in Malang T_T) ... for more pictures

there's chance I will be back to Malang this weekend - we'll see
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Old 20th September 2012, 10:28 PM   #12
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The gentleman of whom I speak is known to some dealers and only works for the trade, he does not work for the general public.
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Old 21st September 2012, 05:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
The gentleman of whom I speak is known to some dealers and only works for the trade, he does not work for the general public.


I have spoken with the seller, and from the conversation, he did not know much about this blade, either .... apart from he knows that this kind of blade is old and used as "tindih" (minimizing negative aspect from other keris)

I wonder if you could share a bit of your expertise, as I planned to see the keris directly and make a bargain. What should I look at ?? typical characteristics of keris of this era, perhaps ...

I know how notice spot welding mark (I learned about it in college), and I usually bring magnification glass wherever I bought something old

basically, please help me by telling where should I look, what should be there and what should not ... and how to spot fraud from authentic one

lastly ... err ... is it OK to post the offer from the seller here ? I mean the value he asked for the blade
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Old 21st September 2012, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satsujinken
lastly ... err ... is it OK to post the offer from the seller here ? I mean the value he asked for the blade

Rather you did not, thanks...
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Old 21st September 2012, 03:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satsujinken
Hello all

your expert opinion is expected

Donny


Hello Donny,
I am not offering an expert opinion but just a personal but definite one about this piece: I cannot see any clue which would make me believe that is is an old and genuine piece (metal condition and aspect, shape of the blade, gonjo, pejetan, etc) . One typical example is the condition of the peksi which is still intact after being supposedly buried in the ground for centuries! I may be wrong but would not consider to buy it at any price....
And if you know M.M. Hidayat, please ask him his opinion.
Regards
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Old 24th September 2012, 12:35 AM   #16
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I'm sorry Donny but it is absolutely, totally impossible for me to give you the information that you need by way of written words and pictures. It has taken me over 50 years to gain my knowledge through hands on contact with keris and hands on training from masters. I cannot pass this on in the way that you might like.

My best suggestion for you is to find a knowledgeable person or persons in Jawa who can teach you.

You're right there, on the ground. You're in Surabaya, where much can be learnt by somebody who really wants to learn.

I had to travel back and forth from Australia and spend more money than I can possibly estimate to gain my knowledge. You can get similar knowledge just by committing to the search and moving around in your own backyard.

All education cost two things at least:-

1)--- time

2)--- money

Internet communication is no substitute for hands on experience and you can get this very, very easily.
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Old 24th September 2012, 07:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I'm sorry Donny but it is absolutely, totally impossible for me to give you the information that you need by way of written words and pictures. It has taken me over 50 years to gain my knowledge through hands on contact with keris and hands on training from masters. I cannot pass this on in the way that you might like.

My best suggestion for you is to find a knowledgeable person or persons in Jawa who can teach you.

You're right there, on the ground. You're in Surabaya, where much can be learnt by somebody who really wants to learn.

I had to travel back and forth from Australia and spend more money than I can possibly estimate to gain my knowledge. You can get similar knowledge just by committing to the search and moving around in your own backyard.

All education cost two things at least:-

1)--- time

2)--- money

Internet communication is no substitute for hands on experience and you can get this very, very easily.


I understand clearly your point, Sir

too bad that many Indonesian did not value their heritage.

OK back to the point, I would like to ask you about one characteristic of older blade my friend told me last night

feel free to correct me on this one

there are 3 shapes of pesi : rounded, rounded and spiral-like, and squared (kotak)

squared pesi are from old blade, very old blade
spiral-like and rounded are common and from younger blade

is it true ?? can the shape of pesi be used as one of main factor to determine age ?? is there no younger keris with pesi kotak ?? (squared)

photo below taken from various sources, and only served as educational purposes - I have sent email to the owner asking for permission to use his pictures for educational purposes and as courtesy, I put the link to his website : http://goedangdjadoel.com/2011/12/keris-jalak-budho/

1st photo from Jalak Budho keris, the owner said that it is genuine Singosari era, and honestly that's what I thought seeing this keris ... looked like something you dig up from the ground - and has been there for centuries

2nd photo showing the keris' pesi (squared), or kotak in Indonesian terms

3rd photo showing standard pesi (rounded)

4th photo showing spiral-like pesi
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