View Single Post
Old 2nd November 2020, 05:14 PM   #8
Keris forum moderator
David's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 6,286

Originally Posted by mross
Kai, that makes sense on the luk's. Would explain why they looked a bit off, which was one of the reasons I vacillated on it. I had not thought of a latter modification to a forged blade, good eye. As to meteor iron, it depends on how it was forged. I have seen blades where the Weidmann pattern is still visible. It is not easy to do you can't forge too hot, but I have seen it. I would have to clean it up and give it a ferric bath, might be worthwhile.
Just a word on meteoric material and keris. As has been pointed out, once forged into a blade you cannot really tell if meteoric iron was used. I am afraid you will have to show me a blade that displays Widmanstätten patterns still visible. If such blades exist it seems likely that a slice of meteorite would have to be added rather late in the process and not really heated to temperature. I certainly have never seen a keris like that.
That said, the percentage of keris that were actually made with meteoric iron are relatively few. These were mostly made starting at the very end of 18th century when remains of the Prambanan meteorite were taken to the Surakarta keraton where it was used for pamor material in a select few keris. The idea that most or even many indonesian are made with meteorite is a bit of a myth, one that has been used to great profit by unscrupulous keris dealers in recent years. Yes, it is a great allure, but impossible to prove and mostly false. The keris you have presented i would have considered collectable if not for the damage inflicted upon it by someone who thought they could improve upon it or make it more desirable by turning the straight blade to wavy through stock reduction methods. But even in its original state it does not seem like the type or quality of old keris one would likely have used meteoric pamor in.
If you do try to clean this up i would not suggest a ferric bath, but rather a more traditional method of using more mild fruit acids. If there is a pamor pattern at all you would then need warangan (a mixture of arsenic and lime) to raise that pattern. But i can pretty much guarantee you will not find any Widmanstätten patterns visible in this blade.
David is offline   Reply With Quote