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Old 19th December 2018, 02:55 PM   #31
David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
The dress of your Keris certainly is Palembang/Lampung. However, the dress seems fairly recent to me, probably quite a bit younger than the blade. Thus, we probably have to focus on the blade only; considering the differences with Gustav's blade though, I kinda doubt that it will bear much on placing the latter.

Yes Kai, the dress is obviously later than the blade, which is probably the case with most keris that come up for discussion.
To be clear, the reason that i posted my own keris for comparison was to draw Jean's two assertions into question.
1. that sumatran keris are generally not larger than 37cm.
2. that the tikel alis passing into the gandik is more a North Coast trait.
These are traits that both my keris and Gustav's share as well as a very similar arrangement in the greneng and a flat, squared off buntut urang. Certainly there are many differences between my keris and Gustav's and given that Sumatran keris were greatly influenced by keris from Jawa i was not necessarily trying to develop a thesis to prove the origins of both. What i did what to know was if Jean's assertion held to greater scrutiny and if what he was saying discounted Sumatra as the origin of my own keris. Given what has been presented i feel quite comfortable continuing to identify my keris was Sumatran. Gustav's keris presents some other more difficult traits which perhaps makes it harder to be so definitive.

Last edited by David : 19th December 2018 at 06:27 PM. Reason: correcting a metric faux pas. ;)
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Old 19th December 2018, 03:03 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
IMVHO, the scabbard seems to be the best bet in placing the ensemble.

Perhaps the best bet for placing the ensemble, but does it place the origin of the blade itself. Just like with mine or most other keris we discuss this ensemble is probably not as old as the blade itself. So identifying the origin of the sheath as, say, Sumatran , does not necessarily mean that Gustav's blade did not originate in North Coast Jawa.
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Old 19th December 2018, 04:42 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
1. that sumatran keris are generally not larger than 37mm.


Gosh, I did not say that
And after seeing the pic of the whole blade, I agree that it is probably from South Sumatra.
Regards
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Old 19th December 2018, 06:25 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
The blade size, peculiar style of greneng, and tikel alis going thru the gandik point to Java North Coast IMO. From my (limited) experience the South Sumatran blades generally do not exceed about 37 cm long.

Sorry Jean, you said Sumatran keris generally don't exceed 37 CM.
A slip of the keys for someone raised with inches. I did indeed mean centimeters and will correct the post in question.
But MAN, now that i'm living in Canada i will need to be more careful with my metric system! LOL!
And thank you for further confirmation.
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Old 19th December 2018, 08:06 PM   #35
A. G. Maisey
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When we set out to classify a keris blade in terms of its point of origin in either time, or as a geographic location we are getting involved in playing the Tangguh Game. By its very nature, tangguh is opinion, and an opinion in respect of anything at all is formed on the basis of both personal knowledge, gained through experience, and/or generally accepted beliefs which may or may not be fact.

I first heard of tangguh in the 1970's, and in 1974 I had my first lesson in tangguh from a gentleman who was introduced to me as Romo Murdo, he was identified as the person responsible for the maintenance of the tosan aji kept in the Jogjakarta Kraton. I had more lessons from a neighbour of Romo Murdo's whose name was Asikin.

It was 1982 before I received any more solid, dedicated instruction in how to understand tangguh, and that instruction came from Empu Suparman, who continued to teach me until his passing in 1995.

In addition to that which I learnt from these gentlemen I also learnt much about tangguh from Pande Seni Keris Mpu Pauzan Pusposukadgo, who was a good friend from 1974.

My knowledge of tangguh and its application was added to by continuing contact with many other Javanese people who were, and still are, involved with the World of the Keris.

Over time I have formed the opinion that classification of a keris blade in accordance with the parameters of tangguh is totally Jawacentric. It arose because of a social need, and anything that did not contribute to that social need was of no interest to the people who used the tangguh parameters to classify a keris. Thus, keris from places other than Jawa were consistently dismissed as being of little interest or value.

However, in spite of this lack of interest in Jawa for keris that were regarded as "not really keris", tangguh does allow for classification of some keris blades based upon broad geographic area, thus we can classify Bugis, or keris from the Eastern Islands, or keris from the Peninsula. But when it comes to keris from Sumatera, it is as if that island in its entirety is a black hole.

I have never met any person who is regarded as an expert in the culture of the keris who was prepared to designate any particular keris style as being unique to any particular part of Sumatera.

Admittedly, this has changed a little in recent years, and I have been told, but have not personally experienced, that some high level dealers and their accomplices in Jakarta and Surabaya have now established indicators for Tangguh Palembang. I rather suspect that this new knowledge could be commercially driven --- but then, I do admit to being a sceptic.

Palembang has had a continuing political association with other places in S.E.Asia, especially with Central Jawa. This association with Central Jawa dates back to the Pajang era in Jawa when the Palembang Sultanate was controlled by Pajang. In the first quarter of the 19th century the Palembang Sultanate was wiped out by the Dutch, and they established direct rule, so from around 1820 or so there has been no royal guiding influence in Palembang. This lack of an overall societal and cultural guide has resulted in Palembang becoming a trade orientated centre, rather than a culturally orientated centre.

In the way in which the keris is understood in Jawa, this makes the keris from Palembang below consideration as a cultural icon. It is not, and has not been for a very long time something that possesses a similar nature or value to the Javanese keris. The keris from Palembang have no distinctive style that can be identified as being uniquely associated with Palembang.

This is certainly a Javanese attitude, and it may well be at variance with the attitude of the people of Palembang, but the fact remains that the variation in keris blades that can be found in Palembang dress does verify that there is very little consistency in what can be regarded as a keris that has a high probability of having been made in the area of influence of Palembang.

Consider the most famous of all Palembang keris, Si Ginjei, this keris is attributed to Empu Kinom of Mataram. There was some discussion of this keris in this Forum a few years back.

What I was taught, and what my own experience has verified, is that the lack of consistency in keris which supposedly originate from Sumatera, and especially from Palembang, makes it impossible to support a tangguh classification of Palembang, or of any other place in Sumatera, based upon indicators that have more or less definite parameters.

Palembang keris dress we can identify with a high probability of accuracy.

Palembang - made keris blades are not subject to probability, but only to possibility.
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Old 20th December 2018, 08:42 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I have never met any person who is regarded as an expert in the culture of the keris who was prepared to designate any particular keris style as being unique to any particular part of Sumatera.


What I was taught, and what my own experience has verified, is that the lack of consistency in keris which supposedly originate from Sumatera, and especially from Palembang, makes it impossible to support a tangguh classification of Palembang, or of any other place in Sumatera, based upon indicators that have more or less definite parameters.



Hello Alan,
I agree that the tangguh system is completely irrelevant for the krisses originating from elsewhere than Java and arguably Madura and Bali.
IMO there are some Sumatra kris blades which are specific to some regions such as the short 3 waves krisses from Minangkabau, and the bahari and panjang krisses from Riau. However the bahari and panjang blades are also fitted with other types of scabbards, especially Minang.
I agree that the kris blades from Palembang exist under various types but the style shown in posts # 21, 23, 24, and 30 seems to be very consistent and probably specific to Palembang or South Sumatra IMO.
Regards

Last edited by Jean : 20th December 2018 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 20th December 2018, 10:32 AM   #37
A. G. Maisey
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Jean, with the utmost respect I would like to make the point that you are thinking and writing as a collector who is using a perspective that I was taught had very little value in the appraisal of the keris.

This Forum is an English language Forum, and the values and attitudes of the contributors to discussion here are firmly based in the collecting traditions of Western European culture.

I believe that you are aware that I take only passing interest in keris that originate from outside the Jawa-Bali nexus, I have solid reasons for this rather focused approach and because I do not wish to offend anybody, and I would like to continue to participate in discussion in this Forum, I will reserve my response to the points that you have made.
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Old 30th July 2019, 04:52 PM   #38
Gustav
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There was another Keris auctioned last week, with some corresponding features - generally the same style sheath, talismanic inlays on Gonjo of similar kind.

A Yaksha/Rakshasa hilt with some unusual/individual features.

The interesting thing about it - it was brought to England by James Alms (1728 - 1791), officer of the Royal Navy, possibly at latest 1784.
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Old 31st July 2019, 04:41 AM   #39
Paul B.
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Referring to the initial post of that nice Palembang kris I noticed the adapted slot opening. Seems to have contained quite a square model.
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Old 31st July 2019, 08:36 PM   #40
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That is just an inlay, about 4 mm thick. Under it the wrongko exactly fits Gandhik.
Similar inlay, of the same thickness, missing on Kepet side.

Just a cosmetic repair, done long time ago.
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