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Old 28th July 2021, 10:03 PM   #1
Ganapati
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Default Pajajaran era keris - 12th-13th century?

Hi sorry for not posting better pics, they will be forthcoming. I purchased this Keris and was curious about if this was from the Pajajaran era - 12th century. The hilt and sheath are obviously newer. I'm a beginner but passionate collector. Please advise.

I will post better pictures when I have the keris in hand next week.
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Old 30th July 2021, 06:05 AM   #2
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Default Tangguh

Hi Ganapati,

I'm a beginner myself so I won't be able to answer your question whether this Keris can be classified Tangguh Pajajaran or not.

However, I would like to point out that the definition of Tangguh itself is not unique.

For some experts Keris Tangguh Pajajaran can only means one thing: Keris made during Pajajaran period.

For others Keris Tangguh Pajajaran can also means Keris made according to the style/type of Keris made during Pajajaran period (but can be recently made).

Cheers,
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Old 30th July 2021, 06:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustYS View Post
Hi Ganapati,

I'm a beginner myself so I won't be able to answer your question whether this Keris can be classified Tangguh Pajajaran or not.

However, I would like to point out that the definition of Tangguh itself is not unique.

For some experts Keris Tangguh Pajajaran can only means one thing: Keris made during Pajajaran period.

For others Keris Tangguh Pajajaran can also means Keris made according to the style/type of Keris made during Pajajaran period (but can be recently made).

Cheers,
very informative, thank you
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Old 30th July 2021, 08:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustYS View Post
Hi Ganapati,

I'm a beginner myself so I won't be able to answer your question whether this Keris can be classified Tangguh Pajajaran or not.

However, I would like to point out that the definition of Tangguh itself is not unique.

For some experts Keris Tangguh Pajajaran can only means one thing: Keris made during Pajajaran period.

For others Keris Tangguh Pajajaran can also means Keris made according to the style/type of Keris made during Pajajaran period (but can be recently made).

Cheers,
well said
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Old 30th July 2021, 08:18 AM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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Frankly, I am not able to confirm or deny that this keris could be classified as Pajajaran from this these photographs, nor from any photographs. It might be, it might not be.

If it is classifiable as Pajajaran, the person who has classified it as this should be able to give which division of Pajajaran, and support his opinion by naming the indicators.

The names given to most , or perhaps all tangguh classifications refer to geographic locations, sometimes to geographic locations as well as eras. Exactly what is meant should be able to be stated.

The form of this keris is the Modern form, that is, it began to proliferate after Islamic domination of Jawa. I have yet to see any representations of this style of keris in monumental works that pre-date 1500.

The earlier form of keris, the Keris Buda is consistently met with in monumental works that predate 1500.

The Kingdom of Pajajaran existed in Sunda from about 1300 to about 1580.

To name this keris as originating in the 12th century is very ambitious.

The Javanese belief system used to place keris into locations or eras is the Tangguh system, it is important to understand that any classification given under the guidelines of the system is purely an opinion. Regretably, whoever gave his opinion that this is a 12th century keris really needs to go back to pre-school.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 30th July 2021 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 30th July 2021, 08:52 AM   #6
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I fully support Alan' opinion, very clear and concise.
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Old 30th July 2021, 04:38 PM   #7
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I fully support Alan' opinion, very clear and concise.
Ditto...
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Old 31st July 2021, 03:21 AM   #8
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thank you David and Mr. Maisey!
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Old 31st July 2021, 02:23 PM   #9
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Hello Ganapati,
Your kris looks like a quite good piece but don't be surprised to learn that it does not date from the 12th century. This confusion is entertained even by reputed kris experts like Tammens (see vol. 1, pages 117, 183, 189 for instance). Please keep in mind that the krisses from the Pajajaran period probably disappeared from the market a long time ago and that the genuine ones would cost a fortune
Regards
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Old 31st July 2021, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Hello Ganapati,
Your kris looks like a quite good piece but don't be surprised to learn that it does not date from the 12th century. This confusion is entertained even by reputed kris experts like Tammens (see vol. 1, pages 117, 183, 189 for instance). Please keep in mind that the krisses from the Pajajaran period probably disappeared from the market a long time ago and that the genuine ones would cost a fortune
Regards
I also agree with Jean. Better photos would confirm this, but it looks like a very nice keris. As has been pointed out, different people have adopted differing viewpoints on the meaning of tangguh, but from where i sit i do not necessarily conflate a tangguh determination with the actual dates of the kingdom named in that determination.
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Old 1st August 2021, 01:09 AM   #11
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To my eyes, this keris that Ganapati has shown us looks very much like Tuban, a shot of the top of the gonjo might be able to confirm this --- or alternatively, blow it away. Its not a bad keris, nothing special, but very fitting for a new comer to keris study.

The idea of Tangguh classifications appears to be something that originated in Central Jawa, most likely in Solo, as a part of the effect of Islamic societal standards on the elite segments of Javanese society. This probably began sometime in the 18th century, and intensified as Dutch control of the Javanese aristocracy became more stringent. Javanism with an Islamic tint was a reaction to the increasing restrictions felt by society at large and by the aristocrats in particular.

Aristocratic men held themselves above the mundane, contaminated things of this world and became limited in the ways in which they could store wealth. Commerce and the associated market place dealing involving money became more closely regarded as something for women to be involved in. Money itself was not something that an aristocrat should allow himself to be seen to be too concerned about:- money was base and as such was dirty, women were inherently dirty, thus money could not contaminate them further. The market place was the domain of women, men were above such things.

An aristocratic man could really only store wealth in aristocratic things:- gold, jewels, land, and amongst a few other things, tosan aji. The word "tosan" means "iron". The word "aji" can be understood in several ways:- the simple understanding is "value/worth", but that idea of value & worth is linked to ideas of respect, honour, esteem, king, magic, talisman, & indirectly to the Quran.

The common understanding of "tosan aji" is "honoured iron" and refers to keris & tombak in particular and to iron weapons in general.

So keris & tombak were one of the ways in which a Javanese aristocrat could store wealth.

But how does one establish the value of a keris or a tombak?

The value of gold, jewels, land & etc can estimated by application of long established principles, but how to establish the value of a keris?

Some things regarding keris value are obvious:- state of preservation, artistic interpretation, inherent value of materials, but other things are not so obvious, and this is where the idea of classification in accordance with the parameters of tangguh comes into play.

Not all eras of Javanese history are regarded as being equally honourable, for example, Kartosuro is regarded as being almost devoid of honour, whereas Majapahit, the Golden Age, is about as honourable as you can get. So a piece of tosan aji with a perceived association with Kartosuro has a lower value than a piece of tosan aji with a perceived association with Majapahit. This perception is rooted in a system of belief, and that system of belief is the Tangguh System.

All other factors being equal, a piece of tosan aji that is able to be classified as Majapahit will have a much higher value than a piece of tosan aji that is classifiable as Kartosuro.

This is the traditional understanding, but today's understandings are corrupted by the understandings of dealers and collectors who have little understanding of traditional Javanese values.

Insofar as keris and other tosan aji is concerned, perhaps the major misunderstanding is that the Tangguh System was only ever meant to be applied to items of tosan aji that could be regarded as vehicles meant to store wealth, that is to say, items of a very high level of excellence. Today, everybody wants to place a tangguh classification on everything, this is today's standard, it is not the traditional standard.

It is probably a total impossibility for anybody to understand the parameters and application of those parameters to a keris or tombak in the absence of dedicated personal tuition from an acknowledged Javanese master, and at the present time, finding such a master might be just a little bit difficult. So it is that tangguh as it is understood now is just a game that has traveled a long way from its roots.
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Old 1st August 2021, 08:48 AM   #12
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A very clear and interesting comment again Alan, to be meditated on, thanks!
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Old 2nd August 2021, 10:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Hello Ganapati,
Your kris looks like a quite good piece but don't be surprised to learn that it does not date from the 12th century. This confusion is entertained even by reputed kris experts like Tammens (see vol. 1, pages 117, 183, 189 for instance). Please keep in mind that the krisses from the Pajajaran period probably disappeared from the market a long time ago and that the genuine ones would cost a fortune
Regards
makes alot of sense Jean thank you !
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Old 2nd August 2021, 10:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
To my eyes, this keris that Ganapati has shown us looks very much like Tuban, a shot of the top of the gonjo might be able to confirm this --- or alternatively, blow it away. Its not a bad keris, nothing special, but very fitting for a new comer to keris study.

The idea of Tangguh classifications appears to be something that originated in Central Jawa, most likely in Solo, as a part of the effect of Islamic societal standards on the elite segments of Javanese society. This probably began sometime in the 18th century, and intensified as Dutch control of the Javanese aristocracy became more stringent. Javanism with an Islamic tint was a reaction to the increasing restrictions felt by society at large and by the aristocrats in particular.

Aristocratic men held themselves above the mundane, contaminated things of this world and became limited in the ways in which they could store wealth. Commerce and the associated market place dealing involving money became more closely regarded as something for women to be involved in. Money itself was not something that an aristocrat should allow himself to be seen to be too concerned about:- money was base and as such was dirty, women were inherently dirty, thus money could not contaminate them further. The market place was the domain of women, men were above such things.

An aristocratic man could really only store wealth in aristocratic things:- gold, jewels, land, and amongst a few other things, tosan aji. The word "tosan" means "iron". The word "aji" can be understood in several ways:- the simple understanding is "value/worth", but that idea of value & worth is linked to ideas of respect, honour, esteem, king, magic, talisman, & indirectly to the Quran.

The common understanding of "tosan aji" is "honoured iron" and refers to keris & tombak in particular and to iron weapons in general.

So keris & tombak were one of the ways in which a Javanese aristocrat could store wealth.

But how does one establish the value of a keris or a tombak?

The value of gold, jewels, land & etc can estimated by application of long established principles, but how to establish the value of a keris?

Some things regarding keris value are obvious:- state of preservation, artistic interpretation, inherent value of materials, but other things are not so obvious, and this is where the idea of classification in accordance with the parameters of tangguh comes into play.

Not all eras of Javanese history are regarded as being equally honourable, for example, Kartosuro is regarded as being almost devoid of honour, whereas Majapahit, the Golden Age, is about as honourable as you can get. So a piece of tosan aji with a perceived association with Kartosuro has a lower value than a piece of tosan aji with a perceived association with Majapahit. This perception is rooted in a system of belief, and that system of belief is the Tangguh System.

All other factors being equal, a piece of tosan aji that is able to be classified as Majapahit will have a much higher value than a piece of tosan aji that is classifiable as Kartosuro.

This is the traditional understanding, but today's understandings are corrupted by the understandings of dealers and collectors who have little understanding of traditional Javanese values.

Insofar as keris and other tosan aji is concerned, perhaps the major misunderstanding is that the Tangguh System was only ever meant to be applied to items of tosan aji that could be regarded as vehicles meant to store wealth, that is to say, items of a very high level of excellence. Today, everybody wants to place a tangguh classification on everything, this is today's standard, it is not the traditional standard.

It is probably a total impossibility for anybody to understand the parameters and application of those parameters to a keris or tombak in the absence of dedicated personal tuition from an acknowledged Javanese master, and at the present time, finding such a master might be just a little bit difficult. So it is that tangguh as it is understood now is just a game that has traveled a long way from its roots.
very useful information Mr Maisey
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Old 2nd August 2021, 10:20 PM   #15
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Will post more pictures of this keris along with another one that I purchased
recently to educate myself on these blades.

Very excited to learn from all of you
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