Thread: Janggelan Hilt
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Old 22nd October 2020, 10:55 PM   #3
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,755

Not a real bad keris IP, and totally capable of a satisfactory restoration.

It seems you have already attacked the restoration of the scabbard so read what I will write as advice for future projects.

The best adhesive to use on keris scabbards is 5 minute epoxy. Where it is necessary to clamp a glue job old nylon stockings work very well, cords and similar tend to bruise the timber. PVA glues should be avoided, the residue is not friendly to ferric material. Where a glued joint cannot be made invisible, make it a visible natural feature of the wood by tinting with artists colour powder, burnt umber will satisfy most requirements.

Where it has been necessary to carry out extensive repairs involving glued joints, an oil finish is not a good idea, over time the oil penetrates the wood and weakens the joint. A good finish is Danish oil or similar, which dries into a polymer, the glossy finish can be dulled down by careful use of 0000 steel wool. I used to have a lot of liking for hand rubbed oil finishes, I learnt how to do a London oil finish for rifle stocks when I was still a little kid. For firearms used in the foggy Scottish Highlands I reckon a hand rubbed oil finish would probably be the very best finish you could use, especially when that 12G is out every day, but for nearly everything else there are much better finishes available now. One big problem with a hand rubbed oil finish for a keris scabbard is that it has a tendency to generate mildew, not nice if you oil something, put it away safely, take it out 6 months later and you're faced with mildew.

Holes like the one in the side of this gandar can be remedied by building up with layers of paper-thin wood --- best material is slivers of bamboo --- and tinted epoxy resin. An easier fix, and the one most used in Jawa is to fit a pendok. A very large number of really sexy looking dress keris have absolutely appalling gandars under those gem studded pendoks --- the ordinary everyday kerises in constant use are even worse.

The hilt:- are you sure it is horn? This type of hilt when black is usually one of the ebonys, and ebony can be pretty susceptible to cracking. It is probably not repairable, but judicious long term application of hand-rubbed medicinal paraffin can assist in preventing it from getting worse.

The motif I can see which looks like a sort of bow cannot be classified as a tumpal motif.

The selut is not angkup randu, it is just a selut, not at all unusual in this type of hilt, the mendak is angkup randu, and because it is without any ornamentation it can be classified as "Angkup Randhu Polos", angkup randhu translates as "unopened bud of kapok", "polos" means "plain, unadorned".

The photos are not good enough nor large enough for me to be too certain about the blade, but on what I can see, it looks pretty OK, certainly worth a careful cleaning, as has often been detailed in this Forum.
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