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Athanase 5th February 2021 11:52 AM

Keris Tajong for comments
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I recently acquired this very simple Keris Tajong, which lacks the nose / beak that originally seems to have been done in a separate part. (unfortunately the better quality and more complete specimens are largely out of budget for me).

The handle is made of wood with the base covered with a slightly soft metal that could make you think of tin?
The scabbard seems to have undergone a repair and then been covered with a badly applied varnish.
The blade (28.5cm) is very basic, but I would like to know its origin.

According to the seller, this Keris was already in France in the 80s, but he has no idea where and when it was brought back to Europe and its age.

Jean 5th February 2021 01:31 PM

An extensive refurbishing job in perspective, good luck! :)

kai 5th February 2021 01:41 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Congrats, you did very well!

This is a coteng and seems to be a genuine ensemble. Coteng tend to be more rustic (both, for the fittings as well as the often imported blades) than their cousin, the tajong. The tin tamin is not common but fits right in there.

I believe the hilt's nose got already repaired during active use; another restoration wouldn't hurt and look much better IMVHO.

In case you give it a gentle cleaning, please have a close look if the hilt is made from more than 1 piece of wood (repairs at the base of the hilt are very common).


Athanase 5th February 2021 02:23 PM

S**t I again inverted the terms Tajong and Coteng. :shrug:
I have a Tajong type handle (recent) and indeed it is much more massive and decorated.

You're right Kai, the base of the handle is made from a different piece of wood. The separation is under the triangle frieze and we see that the lower part is less well sculpted than the upper part. This would explain the very rudimentary tin selut, the lower part would have been repaired locally by someone not specialized in wood and metalworking.

Thank you for your comments, it confirms what I thought, especially on the blade which seems to me not to be from the Malaysian peninsula.

Sajen 5th February 2021 03:13 PM

Hello SÚverin,

Agree with Kai, it's a coteng! Very good find! The scabbard is typical Coteng form and undamaged, and the hilt can get restored with some skill and I agree again with Kai that this is most probably a former local repair, look here:
When you compare with pictures from Conteng hilts it will be possible to carve a fitting nose for the hilt.
The blade looks Javanese or possibly Sumatra to my eyes, difficult to say because it's a very worn blade, also not unusual for a Coteng, the blade could come from everywhere. The gonjo seems also to be a replacement.
The base of the hilt is repaired, I wouldn't change that. I just would give the hilt a new nose and would clean the blade in a vinegar solution, the varnish I would try to remove, and you will have a very nice Coteng keris! :) ;) :cool:


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