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Old 14th April 2020, 02:06 PM   #11
A. G. Maisey
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Join Date: May 2006
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Jean, when we find a figure at the gandhik of a Balinese keris that appears to have been added after the keris has been completed, there are a couple of ways in which this can have been done, but carving the figure first and then mechanically putting it in place, followed by welding is not one on those ways.

The usual way is to weld (ie, fire weld) a piece of material in place over the gandhik, and then carve it. It is not so unusual for older keris to have a singo or other figure applied to the gandhik. This is not a defect nor is it an attempt to deceive, it is a totally legitimate practice that reflects the need of the custodian of the keris.

This particular Singo appears to be an interpretation of a Nogo Singo, also known as a Singo Barong. I believe some people would be inclined to give this one under discussion as Nogo Kikik, or maybe a Kikik Singo or Singo Gana, and really the differences between all of these representations of the singo motif are so slight that one knowledgeable person will give it one name, and other knowledgeable people will give it a different name.

But it is definitely not the head of a Kala Rauh.

However, all that said, I'm not at all certain that this particular singo was applied after the blade was completed, the stain is old, and it is not possible from the photo to see if the grain of the metal continues into the singo or not, and even if it does not, that would not really prove anything, because older Bali blades with figures at the gandhik sometimes have had a piece of iron applied at the position of the gandhik to permit carving during the initial manufacturing process, this is done for economic reasons:- plain iron is a lot cheaper than pamor, and if a lump of pamor is left at the gandhik a lot of that is wasted during the carving process.

Any way I consider this blade I would regard it as a genuine old Balinese blade, I can find no defect in it apart from the effects of time.

But the hilt, well, that's a different matter, I really cannot comment on that much from a photo, but if it is synthetic of some sort, it is still nice work. But if this hilt is the real deal, and has been carved from a whale tooth, then the probability is that the "selut" section is indeed a separate "selut" that has been put in place to hide the hole that is found at the bottom of a whale tooth.
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