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Old 22nd September 2017, 01:58 AM   #1
alexish
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Default Antique Minangkabau Keris for Comments

Dear Forum Members,

I have just won an auction for an antique Minangkabau keris advertised to be from the 18th century.

I hereby attach pictures for your comments.

Do you believe that this keris is actually 200 years old? I have my doubts, and think that a more probable date of its manufacture would be from the late 19th to early 20th century.
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Old 22nd September 2017, 03:18 PM   #2
kai
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Quote:
Do you believe that this keris is actually 200 years old? I have my doubts, and think that a more probable date of its manufacture would be from the late 19th to early 20th century.

This may not be the best nor oldest Minang piece I've seen. The blade certainly has its merits though: I do like the fuller work! Blade quality is certainly above average by Minang standards.

I don't think we have any robust framework to reliably date keris Minang. The blade may well be from the 19th century (or possibly older).

The fittings are certainly younger - your estimate seems plausible to me; the restoration with wire is even later and the silver band looks like a recent replacement; the selut appears to be 20th c., too.

IMHO a nice and interesting example - congrats!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 23rd September 2017, 03:30 AM   #3
David
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The more i look at this keris the less it looks Minangkabau to me. The pendokok perhaps, but the rest of the dress looks wrong and the blade looks even less likely. It's a nice one though.
Age is always tricky. I would feel safe with 19th century, but would say 18th century was not impossible.
May i enquire how long the blade is?

Last edited by David : 23rd September 2017 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 06:25 AM   #4
alexish
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The overall length including handle and sheath is about 43 cm.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 06:28 AM   #5
alexish
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Default South Sumatra

Quote:
Originally Posted by David
The more i look at this keris the less it looks Minangkabau to me. The pendokok perhaps, but the rest of the dress looks wrong and the blade looks even less likely. It's a nice one though.
Age is always tricky. I would feel safe with 19th century, but would say 18th century was impossible.
May i enquire how long the blade is?


Dear David,

Would you be confident that the keris originate from Southern Sumatra?

The blade appears to be similiar to that of Keris Palembang?
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Old 23rd September 2017, 08:07 AM   #6
Jean
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I feel exactly the same as David.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 10:44 AM   #7
kai
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Hello David,

Quote:
The more i look at this keris the less it looks Minangkabau to me. The pendokok perhaps, but the rest of the dress looks wrong and the blade looks even less likely. It's a nice one though.

Wasn't going to open that can of worms...

I agree that the selut/pendokok - considering that it is usually easy to change - lends the weakest support for placing an ensemble. The scabbard would probably fit well with Riau or possibly eastern Sumatra.

I assume the blade to be rather small and I've seen Minang blades with isolated features resembling this example; need to look for any pics though.

The Minang traveled widely and it's not rare to see "mixed" examples. What other origin would you consider this blade being from?


Quote:
Age is always tricky. I would feel safe with 19th century, but would say 18th century was impossible.

I assume you meant to type:
"..., but would not say 18th century was impossible."

Regards,
Kai
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Old 23rd September 2017, 01:11 PM   #8
Jean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
What other origin would you consider this blade being from?

Regards,
Kai


Hi Kai,
Do you know any proven specimen of a Minang blade with a curved ganja?
Regards
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Old 23rd September 2017, 03:50 PM   #9
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I assume you meant to type:
"..., but would not say 18th century was impossible."

Regards,
Kai

Thanks Kai, that is indeed what i had intended to write. I have edited mu p[ost now to reflect that.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 04:58 PM   #10
GIO
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Am I wrong or the blade has been shortened or reshaped ? It seems that the tip points at the wrong direction.
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Old 23rd September 2017, 06:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIO
Am I wrong or the blade has been shortened or reshaped ? It seems that the tip points at the wrong direction.

You are not wrong Gio. Probably some length lost to erosion. Keris luks should always be odd and an even count of luks is most often due to lost length of the blade for one reason or another.

Last edited by David : 25th September 2017 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 25th September 2017, 02:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
You are not wrong Gio. Probably some length lost to erosion. Keris luks should be od and an even count of luks is most often due to lost length of the blade for one reason or another.


Thanks for your suggestion, David. In fact I have never considered this aspect.
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Old 26th September 2017, 05:35 PM   #13
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Hi there,

Never the less the outcome of the origin and so on, nice blade. I agree with the others, that it is unlikely Minangkabau. And even not sure that the blade originated from Sumatra, but also not sure enough to provide good facts that it does not. Could you see if the grip is loose? And could you post a photo of the blade with tip up without the hulu, and one good close up of the peksi? This could give us some information. I am wondering if there are marks of the peksi been shortened, broken or intended the length it is.

Regards Michel
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