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Old 23rd February 2021, 06:51 PM   #21
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,691

Hello Alan,

Thanks for your explanation regarding the fitting of a gonjo!

Having had my share of training in filing a flat/even metal surface, this approach certainly makes sense.

Kai, I need to explain something:- if I give an opinion, I like to be able to support that opinion. It is not difficult at all to look at superficiality in a photograph and put forward a few ideas, but it is difficult to look at a photograph and form a supportable opinion --- well, at least for me it is.

So, the gonjo.

Yes, it is a different colour to the colour of the body of the blade, this is because it is different material to the material we can see on the body of the blade, and it has been worked in a different way.

The material that forms the blade has been made up of a number of layers that are comprised of iron and a contrasting material that is very likely to be nickelous material, possibly from Luwu. Erosion has removed parts of some of these layers.

The gonjo has been made from only iron, and the sides of the gonjo display the edge of the forged material. The gonjo was carved from a very much larger bakalan, so what we see on the sides of the gonjo is iron that has the edges of a small piece of material exposed by cold work, ie, carving.

We cannot compare the colour of the gonjo in total with the colour of the blade body in total, we might, perhaps, be able to compare the colour of some exposed areas of iron in the blade body, but even then, we need to have both pieces of material that we are comparing in precisely the same light, and we would need to be able to find an area of exposed iron that had not been affected by heat treat. I would need to use magnification.

Is it even remotely possible to compare the colour and qualities of the iron in the blade body, with the iron in gonjo, using as reference a photograph?

For me, it is not. That is one of the things that I am unable to give a supportable opinion for.

The other thing I cannot give a supportable opinion on is the authorship of the gonjo. It is unfitted. It & the blade have been through a cleaning process, the warangan is far from perfect. The gonjo appears to have suffered some damage.

What sort of opinion can I form in these circumstances?

Not one that I could support and that is certain.
I realize that material/color/laminations/surface texture need to be compared from the correct orientation and hopefully in similar surface condition as well as the need to take into account different stages of forging when (and if) the gonjo got removed from the bakalan.

I wasn't commenting on color/etc. in my earlier posts. Rather, I focused on what I described as vastly different craftsmanship. While the buntut urang (including the greneng) exhibits quite acceptable condition and style, the sirah cecak does not seem anything close to what I would expect to see considering the well sculpted gandik. As this is about the strongest part of the gonjo, I have a really hard time to imagine how this part could have been damaged without damaging the blade or other parts of the gonjo (short of crushing in a vice - again without damaging any other, much more fragile parts...).

Like already mentioned, an old replacement of apparently lesser craftsmanship seems to be a much more plausible explanation to me.

kai is offline   Reply With Quote