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Old 20th December 2007, 02:43 AM   #1
BluErf
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Default E. Java or Lombok keris blade?

Bought this keris because I liked the pelet arrangement on the batang and the blade, by themselves. Sheath is not the original, but the patcher had done a superb job such that it is quite hard to see the patch.

I always thought this blade had a E Javanese look to it, and is on the proportionately short side. But it had a polished look akin to Balinese kerises. What are the views of fellow forumnites please?
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Old 20th December 2007, 04:52 AM   #2
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It looks like Keris lombok to me
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Old 20th December 2007, 04:57 AM   #3
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Thank you. May I ask if it is common in Lombok to find such proportionately short keris blades with larger sheath and hilt?
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Old 20th December 2007, 05:13 AM   #4
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The materials of the blade looks like materials from Java. In my opinion, looking at the garap, ricikan and the dapur it is almost sure to me that it is a lombok Keris. It is quite common to find Keris lombok with similar Java materials. If looking at the history of Lombok as I have read from a book (Keris di Lombok, By Ir. H. Lalu Djelenga) it tells that Majapahit (E.Java) and Bugis Makassar (Sulawesi) plays important role in the develepoment of Keris in Lombok. Likewise in Sumatra, Malaysia and Bugis where they have similarity in the materials (Besi Luwuk) and so the warangka. So my conclusion to your answer is, Yes it is quite common. Perhaps other members can also give comments.
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Old 20th December 2007, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluErf
Thank you. May I ask if it is common in Lombok to find such proportionately short keris blades with larger sheath and hilt?

Hi Kai Wee. I think that the size of the sheath is somewhat determined by the style of dress and how the keris is worn in public. The sheath would have to be large enough to wear up the back with the hilt popping up over the shoulder. I think the sheath size would therefore be fairly consistent regardless of the size of the blade.
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Old 20th December 2007, 12:55 PM   #6
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Hmmm... that makes sense too!
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Old 20th December 2007, 02:12 PM   #7
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Smile Gonjo Iras

If I'm not mistaken .
I have gonjo iras that is in Bali derss too; here's a picture of the sorsoran .
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Old 20th December 2007, 03:01 PM   #8
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That's an unusual keris. Almost like kebo tiki.

You haven't been in touch with your keris?! Quick, take it out and touch it, oil it, admire it, whatever.
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Old 20th December 2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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Red face Dressed

It's all a bit 'Touristic' but the elements are done in a tasteful fashion .
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Old 20th December 2007, 06:56 PM   #10
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Sipakatuo made a point. I've seen Balinese and Lombok kerisblades with a more javanese look. Wondering if I looked at a javanese keris in Bali or Lombok dress.
The knowledgeable collectors told me such kerisblades are not unusual in Bali and Lombok.
I think we are looking at a Lombok keris. And a very nice one too.
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Old 21st December 2007, 10:06 AM   #11
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The pelet arrangement on the batang called Baris Jajar and it means to bring happines and prosperity for Suku Lombok. The type of Hulu called Bandolan, it is common, and wear by ordinary people. Pls see below:
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Old 22nd December 2007, 12:12 AM   #12
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Thank you all for sharing your opinions and information. I appreciate it!
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Old 27th December 2007, 04:51 AM   #13
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That kind of sheath what we know belong to Lombok. But I heard from some, the Balinese claim that kind of wrangka (axe like) also belong to them.. I guess there is no right wrong answer for this...

Another opinion gathered was that, the bigger sheath was meant to show bravery and might scared the other opponent. I don't know how valid this is.

BluErf, that blade is nice to hold. Very sturdy blade and amazingly pretty light too. Love it...
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Old 13th January 2008, 08:09 PM   #14
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Default another hybrid?

Hi All,
I've been following this discussion avidly because of a keris that I recently purchased that seems to be a Balinese/Javanese hybrid. I would have entered the discussion earlier but today was the first day that has been sunny enough for me to take pictures. These are the features that I'm having trouble reconciling (note that the uwer isn't original to the piece but I don't think the one that it came with was original either as it was a simple, poorly made cone, that didn't match the quality of the blade or the dress).:
1. The blade and dress, aside from the hilt, look Javanese.
2. The hilt looks Balinese.
3. The wood of the hilt and the wranka match.
4. The blade fits the sheath perfectly.
5. The blade and sheath are noticeably larger than typical for Javanese pieces.
6. The dress is all of good quality.
7. The blade looks old, of good quality and pure Javanese (not like some of the more recently made Madura pieces made in a Balinese style).
I have included a three luk Javanese blade for size comparison. I am really interested in what you all make of this piece.
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 14th January 2008, 08:04 AM   #15
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Hello Rob,

Eastern Jawa?

Some more close-ups may help...

Regards,
Kai
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Old 14th January 2008, 11:35 PM   #16
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Hi kai,
Thanks for the reply. I'll try to take some better pictures this weekend if I get good sunlight. Do many eastern Java keris have Balinese hilts and do the blades in some cases tend to be larger than in the rest of Java?
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 15th January 2008, 12:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobT
Hi kai,
Thanks for the reply. I'll try to take some better pictures this weekend if I get good sunlight. Do many eastern Java keris have Balinese hilts and do the blades in some cases tend to be larger than in the rest of Java?
Sincerely,
RobT

I believe East Jawa is known to have a fair sized Bali community so i believe the influence stems from there.
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Old 27th January 2008, 07:43 PM   #18
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Default it was a sunny day

Hi All,
Here are better pictures of my possible Bali/Java hybrid. I have included new photos of the blade tip and base, hilt, wranka, and pendok. The blade size and hilt say Bali but everything else says Java. The blade fits the sheath and the wood of the hilt and wranka match. The best speculation thus far is a Balinese living in Java that remembers the old country.
Sincerely,
RobT
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Old 28th January 2008, 12:18 AM   #19
A. G. Maisey
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When we ask where a keris is from, it is important in many cases to define exactly what we mean by this question.

I have had keris referred to me for identification that came with good provenance going back in some cases over 100 years that told of exactly where and how they were collected, and the various component parts of the keris were from the four directions of the compass--- with some parts being unidentifiable. So even in Indonesia and Malaysia local people were mixing and matching parts years and years ago.

Local Indonesian dealers mix and match parts, dealers all over the world mix and match parts, collectors mix and match parts. Almost everybody mixes and matches, and as far as I can see always did, even back to at least the 16th century.

Where mixing and matching was at a minimum, and sometimes did not exist at all was where keris were used in a society that was under the direct influence and/or control of a kraton.

So when we want to classify a keris we need to split it up into its component parts.

In respect of Kai Wee's keris what I can see in the photo is a blade that could be from Jawa, Bali or Lombok. If Jawa, more likely East Jawa than elsewhere on Jawa, but it could be Bali or Lombok too, and I would not be prepared to be at all definite about it unless I had it in my hand. The warangan does not appear to be Balinese warangan.

The wrongko is the kandikan or bataan style. Some people also call this ladrangan, but in my opinion that is wrong.It could be either Bali or Lombok, and I personally make no distinction, as a Lombok wrongko of this style was made and used by Balinese people living on Lombok and still associated with mainland Balinese culture.

The hilt is the bondolan style and the same remarks I have made for the wrongko apply to this hilt.

The uwer is Balinese and new.

Rob's keris is more difficult.

The blade has some stylistic features that indicate Balinese origin, notably the long blumbangan and the pawakan, but there are other features , especially the material, that do not look Balinese. I would want to see this blade stained, and depending on the result from that, then possibly polished and stained again before I would be prepared to give a solid, defensible opinion on this blade.

The atasan of the wrongko is probably East Javanese, but the pendok is totally, totally out of proportion and just plain terrible. Somebody probably thought the pendok would look good for some reason or another, but it really looks wrong.

The hilt at first appearance seems to be Balinese, but there is a Madura/East Jawa hilt that is very similar to Balinese hilts, except that it has a slightly foreshortened proportion and seems a bit more chunky than a Bali hilt. From the pics I cannot see if this hilt is that style or not, and maybe I couldn't tell if it was from any photo. The difference is so slight sometimes that it really only registers when you hold it.

The image of the uwer is unclear, but it seems to be new and Balinese.

So, what is the origin of both these keris?

I would suggest that A)-- from photographs it is impossible to provide a defensible opinion, and that B)--- the various component parts of both keris could have originated in various different locations.
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Old 28th January 2008, 02:15 AM   #20
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Default Wow

To A. G. Maisey,
I feel like Watson. How the deuce did you know that Holmes?! I compared the hilt on my keris side by side to a bandolan hilt that I am certain is Balinese and for sure the one on the keris in question is shorter and stumpier than its Balinese counterpart. That such a hilt type exists is very good to know in of itself but in this context it also serves to resolve why the wranka looked Javanese, the hilt Balinese and yet the wood of both matched so closely as to indicate they were created en suite.
The blade to sheath fit is perfect and therefore is either a remarkable bit of serendipity or a pretty strong argument for the dress having been made for the blade. I will go out on a limb and say that if we couple the likelihood of an en suite hilt and wranka with the blade and sheath fit, it makes a Javanese made blade with some Balinese features plausible, no?
The only sticky point is the pendok. It fits the gandar perfectly and the gandar is roughened as I believe is common for a pendok bunton. Perhaps the original gandar was modified or replaced to accept the current pendok?
As i mentioned in my earlier post, the uwer isn't original to the piece. It is as you said, new. Could you tell me what type of mendak would be appropriate to this type of hilt or would the uwer still be ok?
I really thank you for your input. Not only have you added to my knowledge, you have also put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Sincerely,
RobT

Last edited by RobT : 28th January 2008 at 02:16 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 28th January 2008, 03:54 AM   #21
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With respect to the blade, blades tend to be made in accordance with the type that dominates in the area where they are made. Keris makers in, say, Tuban on Jawa's north coast did not make blades that looked like blades from Central Jawa. Same with this one of yours. To be sure I'd want to go through the rigmarole I outlined previously, but taking into account the additional information you have just given, and if the hilt is the type I described, I think you've probably got a Blambangan keris, far eastern tip of Jawa. The pendok is a ringin. It is probable that the original gandar rotted and needed replacement, and the best they could do was a pendok.

I say "Blambangan", because Blambangan blades, also Bantam blades, and the typical big Bali blades all share certain characteristics, one of which is the blumbangan---don't get confused by the blum and the blam:- the blumbangan is the picitan, Blambangan is a place.

As to a mendak, well, I don't really know. The keris of this type that I have seen in original condition have never had either mendak or uwer, they've been just the handle with nothing.But that is also true of the majority of old Balinese keris I have seen in unrestored condition.
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Old 29th January 2008, 01:58 AM   #22
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Default It all adds up now

To A. G. Maisey,
Your idea that the addition of a pendok was a quick (and relatively cheap) fix for a rotting gandar is supported by: 1) the figure in the wood on the front of the gandar matches the wranka and 2) a good amount of the bottom of the gandar is missing. I would imagine a replacement spalted gandar to match the wranka would cost a pretty penny and there would be the difficulty of color match to contend with also. The owner probably figured the pendok would do for a time, perhaps until finances allowed it to be replaced properly. All that being said, I really like my one and only Blambangan and I thank you very much for the information that has allowed me (with your caveats about certainty in mind) to identify it.
Sincerely,
RobT
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