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Old 28th August 2006, 01:00 AM   #1
Lew
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Default Nice Sumatran Keris For Comment

Hi All

This auction just ended let me know what you think?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Kris-Sulawesi-w...1QQcmdZViewItem

Lew
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Old 28th August 2006, 01:41 AM   #2
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Nice catch Lew. Thanks for reminding me to occasionally look under the spelling "kris" on ebay.
I'd say you did well. I am sure the peninsula gang will chime in here with better info, but this keris blade does not look Sulawesi to me. Peninsula or Straits perhaps? Hopefully Kai Wee will check in on this one.
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Old 28th August 2006, 01:43 AM   #3
Alam Shah
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Default Malaysian keris...

A nice keris from the Terengganu, Northern Peninsula Malaysia.
The hilt is in the Anak Ayam Teleng form, typical of Terengganu style.
The matching hilt ring is made of turned brass with 6 petals, also typical of Terengganu styled.

The blade, a bugis-influenced sepokal blade with a hexagonal cross section.

The type of wood for the hilt, sheath and sheath's end piece cannot be confirmed. If you could provide clearer pictures later, it will be nice.

Overall, a lovely complete piece. Congratulations!

Last edited by Alam Shah : 28th August 2006 at 04:15 AM.
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Old 28th August 2006, 02:03 AM   #4
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Thanks Shahrial. Terengganu was my first thought. Maybe i am beginning to get a better grasp on these Bugis influenced keris...at least until the next one completely fools me.
Lew, inspite of what the seller claimed, i would be surprised if there is a pamor pattern there. And it is my understanding that peninsula blades are not stained traditionally.
Would love to see better pics when it arrives.
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Old 28th August 2006, 02:56 AM   #5
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David

My guess is that the pamor is a very fine tight linear straight pattern similar to the other ones in my collection. I will post better pics once it arrives.

Lew
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Old 31st August 2006, 01:55 PM   #6
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Ah, this beauty! Yes, a classical Terengganu keris. I think this one has pamor, probably ujung gunong and kulit semangka. However, I won't be surprised if it is a fancier pamor like "perut ular" combined with ujung gunong.

The pendoko is made of white brass. It's a distinctive Terengganu form.

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_photo.php
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Old 2nd September 2006, 06:13 PM   #7
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Gentlemen

The keris arrived today and it's a beauty! I had to stabilize a couple of cracks in the hilt near where the tang enters the hilt but otherwise a very good buy.
Here are some pics.

Lew
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Old 2nd September 2006, 06:27 PM   #8
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Hi Lew,
it would have been my first keris.....unfortunately it ended in the middle of the night for me....
Danny
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Old 2nd September 2006, 06:40 PM   #9
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Lew, a true beauty!!! Congrats!!!!!
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Old 2nd September 2006, 09:52 PM   #10
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Bugis/Peninsula/Sumatera keris are not my forte, however, may I suggest that we are looking at a Bugis blade in Terengganu dress?

Note the flat faces to the blade, and the decline in the joint of gonjo to blade.

I may well be incorrect, but I do not believe these are typical Trengganu blade features, whilst they are typical of classic Bugis form.
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Old 3rd September 2006, 04:07 AM   #11
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The Bugis diaspora ended up in many parts of peninsula Malaysia and Sumatra, including Terengganu. Hence, it is not wrong to say that this is a Bugis or Bugis-influenced blade made in Terengganu. The Bugis blades made in Peninsula Malaysia tend to be 'finer' than most Sulawesi Bugis kerises, and 'sweeter', having absorbed the Malay sense of aesthetics. It may not be as macho, but it is more pleasing to the eyes.

On Peninsula Malaysia, I see 2 major forms of kerises - the Javanese-influenced forms and the Bugis influenced-forms. The more south you go, the more predominant the Bugis-influenced forms. The more north you go, we see greater presence of Javanese-influenced forms. Apart from this common Bugis Sepokal form, there is the carita and melela forms which excel in terms of the refinedness of the dapur and perabots.

Keris melela from Terengganu:
http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_photo.php

Keris Unduk-unduk from Terengganu
http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_photo.php

1st pic - Dave Henkel's keris melela

2nd and 3rd pic - Dave Henkel's keris carita
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Last edited by BluErf : 3rd September 2006 at 12:17 PM. Reason: bad sentence structure
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Old 3rd September 2006, 04:19 AM   #12
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Another carita, again from Dave Henkel's collection. Exceptionally long and fine example. Some collectors refer to the carita in the post above as a melela.

The difference between a melela and a carita is the subject of much disagreement. Most would agree that a keris with deep "double fullers", meaning double sogokan and kruwingan reaching the tip, or at least covering 3/4 of a blade, is called a melela. A carita is supposed to have shallower fullers, and in certain cases, no fullers. The confusion comes in when a keris a set of fullers that is neither shallow nor deep. Would that be a melela or carita?
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Old 3rd September 2006, 04:20 AM   #13
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This is a straight carita from Pattani.

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_photo.php
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Old 3rd September 2006, 04:40 AM   #14
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Question about the pamor? It seems that there is two types of pamor on the blade. The lower half of the blade looks like a scattered rice pattern but it changes half way up the blade to a fine linear pattern?


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Old 3rd September 2006, 05:00 AM   #15
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Yes Lew, it's nice to see that it is a pamored blade after all. My inclination would be to stain it to bring out the pamor, but i have been led to believe that warangan treatment is not traditional for blades from this region so i don't know if that would be the proper course of action. But it sure would make it easier to read the pamor.
Nice catch!
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Old 3rd September 2006, 07:28 PM   #16
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Default Singing Blade

Hi All

I noticed a something interesting today I was removing the keris from the scabbard when I noticed the keris made a ringing sound so I plinked the center of the blade with my finger and a pleasant ring came out of the blade much like a tuning fork or a fine crystal wine glass would make. This sound lasted for about 5 seconds. Is this something out of the ordinary for this type of blade? Maybe I have found the excalibur of the keris


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Old 3rd September 2006, 08:09 PM   #17
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I've always been particularly fond of "ringers" and have a few myself that have particularly good resonance. Some writers (Tammens for one i believe) have made reference to different types of rings having different significance. It seems to be a sign of good metal working to me, though many of my better keris don't have much of a ring at all. Interestingly, one of my best ringers is also a Bugis blade, though one from Sulawesi.
BTW, take it for what it's worth to you, but i have heard that it is considered rude to the spirit of the keris to plink the blade with your finger.
Though i must admit i find it hard to resist on a good "ringer" myself.

Last edited by David : 3rd September 2006 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 3rd September 2006, 08:36 PM   #18
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It is a nice keris, verry good.
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Old 3rd September 2006, 08:38 PM   #19
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As I have already stated, my knowledge of Bugis/ Peninsula/ Sumatra keris is not very great.

I thank you, BluErf, for your over-view of Peninsula blade forms.

May we focus on the Bugis form for a moment?

You have mentioned that Bugis style blades made in Peninsula Malaysia tend to be more refined than Bugis blades originating in South Sulawesi.

Are you able to identify specific indicators that would place a Bugis style blade into a classification of Peninsula manufacture, or South Sulawesi manufacture?

If you are not able to identify such specific indicators, and the classification of geographic origin of a Bugis blade is a matter for subjective assessment and experience, are you able to provide guidelines to assist in making this classification?

If a Peninsular Bugis blade is "sweeter" and "finer" than most Sulawesi Bugis blades, are you able to define the elements that contribute to this higher level of refinement?

Thank you for your clarification of this matter.
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Old 3rd September 2006, 08:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I've always been particularly fond of "ringers" and have a few
BTW, take it for what it's worth to you, but i have heard that it is considered rude to the spirit of the keris to plink the blade with your finger.
Though i must admit i find it hard to resist on a good "ringer" myself.


OK David

I would not want to offend the spirit of the keris but it is a rather sweet sound. I will try and control my urges from now on.


Lew
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Old 3rd September 2006, 09:22 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOUIEBLADES
OK David

I would not want to offend the spirit of the keris but it is a rather sweet sound. I will try and control my urges from now on.


Lew


You and me both Lew, but as you say, it is a rather sweet sound and hard to resist letting it sing.
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Old 4th September 2006, 03:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
As I have already stated, my knowledge of Bugis/ Peninsula/ Sumatra keris is not very great.

I thank you, BluErf, for your over-view of Peninsula blade forms.

May we focus on the Bugis form for a moment?

You have mentioned that Bugis style blades made in Peninsula Malaysia tend to be more refined than Bugis blades originating in South Sulawesi.

Are you able to identify specific indicators that would place a Bugis style blade into a classification of Peninsula manufacture, or South Sulawesi manufacture?

If you are not able to identify such specific indicators, and the classification of geographic origin of a Bugis blade is a matter for subjective assessment and experience, are you able to provide guidelines to assist in making this classification?

If a Peninsular Bugis blade is "sweeter" and "finer" than most Sulawesi Bugis blades, are you able to define the elements that contribute to this higher level of refinement?

Thank you for your clarification of this matter.


These are very tough questions to answer definitively. My observations come from seeing and handling numerous Peninsula and Bugis kerises. I learnt to identify the keris by the hilt and the sheath first, and then looking at the blade. Though blades may move from island to island and get dressed in the local style, there are sufficient 'native' blades in 'native' sheaths to give a general sense of the aesthetics defining Bugis blades from the peninsula/Sumatran (or shall we call it the Straits) and Sulawesi. As with everything, there are exceptions.

There are a few good examples of Sulawesi kerises on Adni's website. I do not want to make specific links to them, but do a quick search and you should find three archetypal Sulawesi kerises. You may also refer to these pieces in my collection:

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php

Notice that the Sulawesi blades look generally stiffer, with disproportionate (sometimes too short, sometimes too long) ganjas without much curves, or refined greneng. The greneng, if present, are big and chunky. The kembang kacang curves out awkwardly most of the time, and is also chunky. For sepokal pieces, the blades taper too sharply near the tip, and some has pregnant middles which does not look aesthetically nice (at least to me). But all of these Sulawesi pieces are tough as they get, very often tempered up to 80% of the blade length.

Here are some Sulawesi kerises with exceptionally nice blades (compared to other Sulawesi pieces):

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
(Blade almost looks Javanese, but compare it to one of the pieces above. The greneng styles are akin to each other.)

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
(This is probably a Malay blade in a Sulawesi sheath. It is of the carita form, and the greyish metal is more akin to Peninsula pieces than Sulawesi.)

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
(This is a very nice Sulawesi sepokal blade. I would admit that I'm saying that it is Sulawesi because of the sheath and original hilt (which I didn't acquire), which are Sulawesi forms.)


Compare the Sulawesi kerises to Peninsula and Sumatran Bugis pieces (the Straits Bugis):

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
(Though generally chunky, the blade is more balanced, features are softer and better-formed. Looks less awkward).

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
(Very refined Sumatran Bugis blade. Compare the sor-soran area to the Sulawesi pieces.)

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
(Though the blade is simplistic, it already shows a greater appreciation of the flow of the lines. Notice the way the 4 lines which defines the silhouette of the blade curves to meet each other. The blade looks 'flowing' and 'balanced'. Sorry, I can't put it in hard facts-and-figures style. This has to be seen and felt. What the Malays refer to as 'air-tangan': "water of the hand")

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_photo.php
(East Sumatran Bugis blade with well-executed sogokan and kruwingan that follows the curvature of the blade, proportionate and curving ganja, and mildly pregnant middle, neither too fat nor too thin.)

http://www.kampungnet.com.sg/module...=view_album.php
(Small little Terengganu keris with a Bugis-style sepokal blade. Compare the curved lines and pamor on this piece with the Buton piece and one of the straight Sulawesi pieces on Adni's website.)

And of course, we have Lew's fine example, with the greneng details, ganja which is not too short, and curves out at an angle, and the aring flares out horizontally at the tail end. The slight arc in the blade, ending in the dome-shaped tip.
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Old 4th September 2006, 05:38 PM   #23
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Thanks Kai Wee, for this thorough presentation on these difficult questions. The subtly of form changes as Bugis blades migrate from one area to another is a tough one to follow. The same goes for the form of dress. I am sure i will still be confused, but your input has been a great help.
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Old 4th September 2006, 10:48 PM   #24
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Thank you BluErf for your response to my question.

I will examine your submission in detail at my earliest opportunity, and ---hopefully---comment further.
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Old 5th September 2006, 09:20 AM   #25
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I may be wrong, but one defining characteristic of a Straits Bugis or Malay blade vis-a-vis Sulawesi blade is the presence of a 'pinggang' (waist) on the blade. Malay blades tend to have this feature and gives the overall blade a refined flow. In contrast, the Sulawesi blades tend to be more broad and stocky. Just my 2 bits worth.

For the ringing, I think that's the mark of a tempered blade. I call it singing and I luv keris that sing! My 2 bits worth again
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Old 5th September 2006, 09:51 AM   #26
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Rahman Sir, haven't heard from you for a long time! I am down with a bad flu, which gave me the rare opportunity to read the forum while the sun is still in the sky.
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Old 5th September 2006, 12:29 PM   #27
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Sorry yo hear of your illness Kai Wee. I trust you will be back on you feet in no time.
I share your fondness for "singers" Rahman. I wonder if it has more to do with just tempering the blade. I would have thought that many of my older blades that don't sing would also have been tempered. I have thought that the pleasant ringing might have more to do with the types of metals used in the forging. Perhaps someone knows more.
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