Thread: Bugis Keris
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Old 4th April 2021, 04:39 PM   #20
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 984

David, i'm glad you noticed my post this time

Of course it's nice to have a Peninsular ivory hilt, as they are seldom, and old ivory Anak Ayam / Pipit Teleng hilts are even more seldom (moreover with ornamentation).


Because Malay carvers primary material and medium of expression was wood. What it means is very well described in the first chapter of "Spirit of Wood" by Farish A. Noor, "The Cult of Wood".

Why I nevertheless wrote, I don't see much enigma in your hilt? Because it (almost surely) comes from a time period, where such experiments, search for novelty was en voque. There are much more awesome examples of this craze then yours, but - for this time period they are "normal".

Why I described your example as stiff in posture and how an antique, good example of Hulu Pipit Teleng looks alike? Actually to found pictures of good specimens on internet is equally difficult as to find pictures of genuine old Terengganu Keris blades of good quality. The best examples are only average (including both of my Pipit Teleng). Perhaps the best source of old higher quality Peninsular Keris and their hilts were the richly illustrated posts of David Henkel in the now gone UBB Forum and especially his site "Keris Archipelago", also gone long time ago.

Pipit Teleng simply is the most dynamic Peninsular hilt form. In a good hilt there should be three bends in three different directions, this form is literally three dimensional. It is very difficult to made a hilt where these bends are well balanced, correspond to each other and make out an absolutely organic overall shape (which feels so well in the hand).

At first, an old drawing, it could be from Gardner's book, but I am not sure as I don't own it. Number 2 is Pipit Teleng, with "chickens comb", eyes protruding or marked as spirals and the typical distinctive small "Garuda Mungkur" shield on the back.
Also attached two pictures (courtesy by Shahrial Tahar) of a Sumatran hilt form, from which Pipit Teleng derived. The main elements are there, but it is absolutely not "Teleng". For a Pipit Teleng hilt I would call it "absolutely stiff".
Also attached four pictures of a well carved antique Pipit Teleng hilt, perhaps the best regarding the overall flow of masses.
Attached Images
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