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Old 24th February 2022, 02:27 AM   #1
jagabuwana
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Default Bali keris with Sunggingan at The Met

This is a keris that struck my inexperienced eyes as superbly executed. I think I'd be awestruck if I were to see it in person.

It was donated by the Fletcher Fund in 1928, which I believe was a fund created with the bequest of Isaac Dudley Fletcher (died 1917).

Given that the photographs look quite recent, the condition of the keris is remarkable.

- From the photos, can we tell how old this keris might be?
- What might the dress tell us about its owner/custodian?

Sources / notes:
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/34799
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Dudley_Fletcher
Image first image has been flipped and rotated so as to show a more favourable angle of the blade.
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Old 24th February 2022, 02:38 AM   #2
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A closer look at the figure on the handle
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Old 24th February 2022, 02:53 AM   #3
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I have seen the hilt before but not the blade. i like the etch and effect.
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Old 24th February 2022, 06:16 AM   #4
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Me too Battara. Is it wos wutah?
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Old 24th February 2022, 06:21 AM   #5
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Here is another from the MET, bequested by arms collector George C. Stone in 1928. That hilt is amazing.

The original is in b&w, which I then ran through a colouriser.

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/24313
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Cameron_Stone
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Old 24th February 2022, 08:37 PM   #6
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The MET has some fine keris in it's collection.
We so rarely get to see original Balinese stain in this condition. Looks beautiful.
I don't think the second one is not Balinese though. Beautiful nonetheless.
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Old 25th February 2022, 12:40 AM   #7
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Yes David, the description says "Javanese or Sumatran (Banten Sultanate)". I guess Banten seems reasonable given the full ricikan and odo-odo. What do you think?
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Old 25th February 2022, 12:54 AM   #8
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Sumatera is a big place, and historically there was West Jawa influence over much of it.

I personally don't think a broad "Sumatera" classification is good enough, but I'd be happy the back the Banten horse.
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Old 25th February 2022, 12:58 AM   #9
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I agree Alan. I often wonder who they consult to do these kinds of appraisals. Then again perhaps consulting a person to do the tangguh thing might overcomplicate things for the keris-illiterate observer.
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Old 25th February 2022, 02:30 AM   #10
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I don't think we even need to get involved with tahgguh here JB.

In fact, in tangguh as I learnt it in Solo in there was no formal place for Banten in the system, but it was accepted that other tangguhs could exist, the only requirement being a consistency that defined the classification.

For example, over the last few years some people have been pushing a "tangguh Palembang". People from the keris sub-cultures of Jakarta & Surabaya I believe. However, if we accept the Solo idea of tangguh, there can be no "tangguh Palembang", simply because blade forms vary too widely in Palembang.

But with Banten, there is common thread running through the Palembang keris, just as there is with the other major tangguh classifications. So even without a tangguh, we can use that overall appearance to take an educated guess at point of origin.
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Old 25th February 2022, 03:36 AM   #11
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Yeah fair enough.

This brings me to a question. Let's use a Segaluh style keris as an example, simply because of how conspicuous they are.

We know that it is highly unlikely that even the oldest Segaluh keris was made during the time of Galuh. But does it indicate that it was most likely made in a particular place e.g. West Java?

I'm not sure if that question puts us into the "It depends on the appraisers belief" territory.
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Old 25th February 2022, 07:18 AM   #12
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Yes, I think so. I think that any keris made in Segaluh style would have been made in West Jawa.

I have not seen any keris in Segaluh style made in the modern era.

Segaluh keris do not rank on the honour scale :- they not from The Land of Jawa, they are from outside Jawa. In traditional thought they have no value as investment vehicles when compared with classifications of honour that are from within The Land of Jawa.
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Old 26th February 2022, 10:32 AM   #13
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Thanks Alan, makes sense.
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