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Old 8th January 2021, 04:03 AM   #1
maximummason
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Default Requesting Help!! Identifying the specifics of a Kris

Hello VikingSword forums,
Thank you for allowing me to register as a user on this forum. Already I can say that it's been a great resource for me to gradually understand more about the Kris and it's cultural significance.
I was redirected here from a user on Reddit that had graciously assisted me when I posted some pictures of my Kris. Therefore, I ask help in finding out more information it. More specifically, if I could find out the composition of the grip, the age of the blade and scabbard, and the significance of the hilt in relation to the other aspects of the Kris. Many thanks for your thoughts and time. I look forward to spending more time on this resource.
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Old 10th January 2021, 03:17 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum Max.
A nice old Madura/East Jawa keris.
The ivory hilt looks like Kojuk Mrenges, though in a less detailed form. It seems to have some age. Is the base wood or horn. It is possible it is a newer part to replace damaged ivory at the original base of this hilt.
The top sheath is a wood i have seen before but can't name. Maybe someone here knows. This style of top sheath is a bit of a village folk art as far as i understand it. I like this carving. The motif is Si Mega, the mythical winged horse. It is regional emblem for Sumenup.
The gandar (stem) of the sheath looks newer than the atasan. The wear and the carving skills look different. But that shouldn't bother you.
Honestly your photos of the blade aren't very good for analysis, but the blade looks like the oldest part of the ensemble and seems to have been fairly well constructed. I would say it was probably an 11 luk blade, though it seems to have lost it's final luk over time along with its finer details. It would be nice to see this blade cleared and re-stained to reveal the pamor better.
If this were mine i would probably replace the flattened mendak (metal hilt ring) with a new bit of jewelry.
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Old 10th January 2021, 09:13 AM   #3
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I agree with what David said, the scabbard is in Madurese deng-udengan or gabilan style.
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Old 11th January 2021, 12:26 AM   #4
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Welcome maximummason!

With regards to David's suggestion about cleaning and staining, you may find these threads useful:
http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=23934
http://vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=25562

For more, I suggest you to use the search function to find out more about how to do that. but the two above should be more than enough to get started.

The cleaning should be simple and accessible to anyone, but a good staining job, depending on where you live and what you can access, will be difficult.
This is because traditionally in Indonesia "warangan" is used, which is a mineral containing high concentrations of arsenic. In lieu of that some on this forum use lab-grade arsenic trioxide which is inaccessible to most.

It is worth noting too that a thorough cleaning, which will invariably involve a light acid such as cooking vinegar, will remove whatever is left of the stain that is already on this keris.

You could always start with giving it a scrub with a toothbrush and dishwashing detergent then drying it thoroughly using a lint free cloth then a blowdryer.
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Old 16th January 2021, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagabuwana
The cleaning should be simple and accessible to anyone, but a good staining job, depending on where you live and what you can access, will be difficult.
This is because traditionally in Indonesia "warangan" is used, which is a mineral containing high concentrations of arsenic. In lieu of that some on this forum use lab-grade arsenic trioxide which is inaccessible to most.
The mineral that is used to make warangan is realgar i believe. It is not difficult to get, though many specimens appear to be relatively expensive and since i have never used it i could not really guide anyone on which ones are the best to use. I have heard the the redder/pinker varieties are best, but i cannot confirm. Lab-grade arsenic trioxide is far superior to use because its strength is always exactly the same and if applied properly it it will give the most consistent results. However, as you have already said, it is hard to obtain unless you have the right licenses. I have seen some good staining results with other, easier to obtain substances, but do not have any personal experience with them.
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Old 11th January 2021, 12:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
I agree with what David said, the scabbard is in Madurese deng-udengan or gabilan style.
Thanks Jean. Gabilan was the name i was searching my aging brain cells for.
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:36 PM   #7
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Many thanks to those of you who replied to me. I appreciate it greatly and apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I believed that it would send me an email when someone replied, but it did not.

If by the base you are referring to the top part of the hilt, then I believe it is a dark wood material!

If you would like me to attach more specific photos of the blade, I would be happy to do that! Anything to get some more information on the Kris.

Thank you for the suggestions on cleaning it. I will start off with a toothbrush and slowly see if I can remove some of the staining.

If I can ask one more question, why are there holes in the grip of the Kris? Were those intentional?

Many thanks for your thoughts and time again.
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
If this were mine i would probably replace the flattened mendak (metal hilt ring) with a new bit of jewelry.
Maybe someone used to working with silver can put the mendak back in shape
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Old 17th January 2021, 11:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asomotif
Maybe someone used to working with silver can put the mendak back in shape
That doesn't really make too much sense to me unless it was a particular rare form. Mendaks of good material and construction are relatively cheap to acquire through regular dealers or on eBay. You would probably have to pay a silversmith more to repair this than it is worth.
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Old 19th January 2021, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
That doesn't really make too much sense to me unless it was a particular rare form. Mendaks of good material and construction are relatively cheap to acquire through regular dealers or on eBay. You would probably have to pay a silversmith more to repair this than it is worth.
I can't see the damage. I have seen ones that seemed to have been crushed by impacts. If replacement is necessary then maybe an attempt to tap out the damage would be in order as there is nothing to lose

Has this blade been cleaned to the point it is hard to guess dapor? I was playing around with Tammens and could find a suitable match, but that is a condensed list if I am not mistaken.

Last edited by Interested Party; 19th January 2021 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 19th January 2021, 03:10 AM   #11
A. G. Maisey
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If this blade had been made in Surakarta style we could give it as dhapur Bandhotan. Since it is not Surakarta style it misses out on some of the characteristics that we expect to see in a Surakarta keris, but it is still probably close enough to use bandhotan.
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Old 19th January 2021, 07:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interested Party
I can't see the damage. I have seen ones that seemed to have been crushed by impacts. If replacement is necessary then maybe an attempt to tap out the damage would be in order as there is nothing to lose

Has this blade been cleaned to the point it is hard to guess dapor? I was playing around with Tammens and could find a suitable match, but that is a condensed list if I am not mistaken.
You can't see the damage? Looks pretty crushed to my eyes. I am also fairly certain there is material lose. Some of the little silver balls around the edge appear to be missing. I suppose one could take time and effort to try to pop it back up and maybe, if you had the skills, solder some new silver balls in place. But i'm not convinced you would ever be able to make it look like it hadn't been damaged.
Also, from my perspective, bringing a new keris into the family is sort of like getting a new girl friend. If you like her enough you might want to buy her a new piece of jewelry. Again, there is nothing in this particular mendak that i see that makes it special enough to warrant saving. I have bought sterling silver ones with stone inclusions for $25USD and you can find fairly attractive cheaper ones as well. I just don't see why it would be worth the effort to try to restore this one unless you just really want the challenge and are open to the strong possibility of an unsatisfactory result.
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