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Old 9th August 2006, 02:35 AM   #1
Alam Shah
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Default Sumatran keris for discussion

Below is a keris which had puzzled me... I hoping that other collectors or experts, could assist in identifying the piece and from which region.

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
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Old 9th August 2006, 12:57 PM   #2
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Firstly, let me say nice keris. I really like this one. I can certainly see why you are confused though. This is a very unusual blade. I have never seen ricikan like this before. Not only the greneng, but the gandik is also quite unusal. It is, however, very beautiful.
I can see why you made a guess that it might be Minangkabau.The dress seems to lean that way. Though i have never seen a blade like this from there it also has a general stoutness of form that i would not be surprised to see from the region. But i am afraid i can't offer any more encouragement than that.
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Old 10th August 2006, 08:59 AM   #3
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Shahrial,

There seems to be something wrong with your link?
Or maybe it's just momentarily on Kampungnet?

Michael
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Old 10th August 2006, 10:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Shahrial,
There seems to be something wrong with your link?
Or maybe it's just momentarily on Kampungnet?

Michael
It seems like there is some data corruption, in my gallery @ KgNet... (let me look into it).
Here's a link to my mirror site. Sorry for the inconvenience.

http://alamshah.fotopic.net/c1047834.html

Last edited by Alam Shah : 10th August 2006 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 10th August 2006, 11:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the new link,

I have seen a blade with resembling greneng before.
It was an old blade, with newer hilt, but it is not longer in my collection.
The Wrangka also looked similar to yours and I considered it to be from Minangkabau.
The Dauns reminds me of Gayo. Maybe some influence?

Unfortunately I don't have it around and the pictures I have kept aren't as good as yours.
Maybe these could give you an idea?
I don't want to show the complete Keris because it's not mine anymore.

Michael
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Old 10th August 2006, 11:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
I have seen a blade with resembling greneng before.
Lol... I know... because it is in my collection now.
The thing is, I don't like the hulu and pendongkok... so I'm temporarily using another until I could get a suitable replacement.

Last edited by Alam Shah : 10th August 2006 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 10th August 2006, 12:44 PM   #7
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Ha, ha,

I didn't like those either. That's why I sold it.
I think your idea of switching them is much better because the blade and sheath is really nice.

Michael
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Old 12th August 2006, 12:12 PM   #8
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Default picture of blade...

Hi all,
Below is the picture of the blade. Let's discuss...
This is the 1st time I saw this type of greneng-works.
What does these represents?
Any ideas, suggestions, opinions...etc.



The gandik area is also unique.

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Old 12th August 2006, 12:36 PM   #9
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Default more pics...

Pamor Lidi Sebatang, from the tip to one third of the blade.
Don't know whether it qualify as this. Normally for this pamor, it extends from the base to the tip of the blade. In Javanese it is known as pamor Sada Saler or Sada Sakler also known as pamor BantuBari.

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Old 12th August 2006, 03:05 PM   #10
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Sorry for joining this thread late!

I'm really stumped by this one, too. I think the sturdy blade has very gracefully flowing lines and really nice scroll work; the knob-like kembang kacang became more visible after thorough cleaning and also the unique ricikan details add to its distinguished appearance. I'm at a loss how old this blade might be - could be 300 years (unlikely since the blade is very well preserved) to 3 years (ok, Michael had it a bit longer than that I guess) as far as I'm concerned. If pressed, I'd probably tend towards 20th century although the general workmanship is better than commonly seen on (genuine) recent Keris.

I'm adding one of Michael's pics showing the original hulu and pendongkok - those fittings really point towards a Minang Kabau origin IMHO. I agree that these are inferior and really need to be replaced with nicer fittings. I'm also not sure about the wrangka - those necessary new/restored fittings were my main reason to give it to Singapore were finding suitable good quality fittings is so much easier than in Europe or the US. I couldn't identify the utilized wood, too. BTW, what was traditionally used to stain wood if deemed preferable?

I believe this blade looks better (best?) in Minang Kabau fittings and would love to see pics of the completed piece. Go for it and win next years Keris Competition with it, Alam Shah!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 12th August 2006, 03:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Below is the picture of the blade. Let's discuss...
This is the 1st time I saw this type of greneng-works.
What does these represents?

If you're not too strict, the first greneng (downwards from the tip of the blade) might represent a bird's head (most likely an eagle?); of course, this is just one of several possible interpretations.

The rest (or possibly all) of the greneng looks like foliage-like decoration to me.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 12th August 2006, 03:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Pamor Lidi Sebatang, from the tip to one third of the blade.
Don't know whether it qualify as this.

I couldn't really ascertain any welding lines after cleaning; the very tip (from my memory about 1 inch or 3 cm) appear darker - possibly from tempering?

Maybe some polishing and staining might give more information how this blade was forged and tempered?

Regards,
Kai
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Old 12th August 2006, 04:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
If you're not too strict, the first greneng (downwards from the tip of the blade) might represent a bird's head (most likely an eagle?); of course, this is just one of several possible interpretations.

The rest (or possibly all) of the greneng looks like foliage-like decoration to me.
A good interpretation... thanks.

Last edited by Alam Shah : 12th August 2006 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 13th August 2006, 03:05 PM   #14
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Does anyone see a similarity in the 'air tangan' of this keris blade with VVV's panjang up for discussion? Look at the sor-soran area of both kerises, and ignore the atypical greneng and the "bump" on the gandik on this piece. Very similar isn't it.

And look at this blade from Aji's collection:
http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_photo.php

The dress was commissioned in Malaysia, but the blade was definitely sourced from Riau, which could be a stepping board for kerises from Central or Northern Sumatra.

So, could we be looking at a Minang origin for VVV's panjang?

On the greneng - I've never seen anything like this before...
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Old 13th August 2006, 11:22 PM   #15
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I cannot offer any opinion on origin of this blade. I only know it is not Javanese or Balinese.

However, regarding the similarity of the sculpting in the sorsoran of Bluerf`s picture, and Alam Shah`s picture, I can comment.

I`m sorry, but I can see no similarity at all between the two.
The major disparity is that in Alam Shah`s piece the blumbangan is boto adeg, in Bluerf`s it is boto rubu, but apart from that the actual execution of each blade is almost at opposite poles.
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Old 16th August 2006, 03:58 AM   #16
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Default reply...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I'm also not sure about the wrangka - those necessary new/restored fittings were my main reason to give it to Singapore were finding suitable good quality fittings is so much easier than in Europe or the US. I couldn't identify the utilized wood, too. ?
Lol... Good call to 'give' it to Singapore. I'll update once I've got the piece the way I wanted it to look. May take sometime, though. Imo, the wood looks like stained 'young' kemuning wood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
BTW, what was traditionally used to stain wood if deemed preferable?
In Sumatra, 'sapan' or dark-stained finish were desire-able, but personally, I think it's a way to 'hide' low quality wood and to make it more resistable to the elements. The better ones tend to display its natural wood grains, but as always, there's no hard and fast rules here. Anything goes... a matter of personal preference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
I believe this blade looks better (best?) in Minang Kabau fittings and would love to see pics of the completed piece. Go for it and win next years Keris Competition with it, Alam Shah!
I tend to agree, I'll stick to Minangkabau fittings, if the origin could not be decided or if we cannot come to a consensus... As for the competition, lol... I don't have any intention of submitting this, with what I've seen others are acquiring.

Last edited by Alam Shah : 17th August 2006 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 19th August 2006, 12:46 AM   #17
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Which hilt and hilt cup combination looks better?









For your comments, guys...
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Old 19th August 2006, 12:52 AM   #18
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Default Comparisons...

... or another combination.









Which combination suits this piece better?
All opinions are welcome (either good or bad).
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Old 19th August 2006, 12:59 AM   #19
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I'd vote for number two Shahrial; the cup/mendak seems a better fit to the ukiran . I don't know whether it's in keeping or not but to my untrained eye it seems more balanced .
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Old 19th August 2006, 01:09 AM   #20
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I would agree with Rick here for the very same reasons. The cup in the first combo appears just a little too large. I also like this second hilt a little better. But as for what would be more proper, i am afraid i am in the same boat as Rick.
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Old 19th August 2006, 01:21 AM   #21
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Question

While we're on the subject of keris fashion; here's a new (to me) but old mendak I tossed on my Anak Alang. Is it in fitting with the style?
It seems to be silver on brass and nice work except for the missing ball.
This doesn't strike me as a Jawa mendak.
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Old 19th August 2006, 01:31 AM   #22
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Looks like north coast Jawa or Madura to me, Rick.
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Old 19th August 2006, 01:38 AM   #23
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Talking Oops !

Fashion blunder .

What I found interesting about this mendak is that one side had been purposely compressed to create an angled cup.
Most unusual to my eyes.

Anyway carry on .
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Old 20th August 2006, 10:28 AM   #24
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I'm looking high and low for a Madurese mendak...

For shahrial's keris, I think second one is better. The first hilt is nice, but shd have a Minang-style cup (with a long stem and deep bowl) rather than a straits Bugis-style cup.
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Old 20th August 2006, 01:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluErf
For shahrial's keris, I think second one is better. The first hilt is nice, but shd have a Minang-style cup (with a long stem and deep bowl) rather than a straits Bugis-style cup.
Rick, David, Kai Wee, thanks for your opinions.
I agree that the 2nd looks better with a matching cup (pendongkok)...
The first one, if use a Minang-styled cup would be too high. It's also hard to come by... ... The 1st option is out.

Actually, looking at the 1st piece hilt, the lobe raising from the back of the head may represent a Garuda Mungkur form, and likely from Palembang.

The 2nd hilt, although a different form, looks like a South Sumatran (Palembang) piece, as well. But at least the hilt ring/cup is in Central Sumatra form, looks matching... but I don't know...hmmm.

Last edited by Alam Shah : 21st August 2006 at 12:18 PM. Reason: grammar...
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Old 20th August 2006, 02:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
While we're on the subject of keris fashion; here's a new (to me) but old mendak I tossed on my Anak Alang. Is it in fitting with the style?
It seems to be silver on brass and nice work except for the missing ball.
This doesn't strike me as a Jawa mendak.
As Alan and Kai Wee had mentioned, the mendak is not from Sumatra.

Some examples of Sumatran ring/cup (pendokok/pendongkok/pendoko). [link]

An example of a Minangkabau form that would be fitting for your piece. [link]
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Old 21st August 2006, 12:22 PM   #27
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Lightbulb Stone's reference...

The sheath form is found in Stone's, Pg:387, Fig: 483, #2. It seems like I'm talking to myself...
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Old 21st August 2006, 01:48 PM   #28
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Don't worry Shahrial....it may seem like you are talking to yourself, but we're listening.
It's hard to tell from the small pic in stone, but while similar, it does appear that your sheath has some subtle, but important differences, especially along the top in the curve of the "boat". Variation on a form....or different catagory...?
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Old 21st August 2006, 03:20 PM   #29
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Question similar but not the same...

Yup, agreed. The upper portion inwards curve is different. I agree with Michael's opinion on the daun, of Gayo influence...hmmm.
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Old 21st August 2006, 03:29 PM   #30
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Shah

The first combination -- the pendongko is a Bugis cup, definitely not a good fit. Keep looking for a suitable Minang style
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