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Old 17th July 2021, 02:37 PM   #1
Athanase
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Default Two West(?) Javaneses Keris with Sumatra style hilt

Hello,

I recently acquired these two Keris which intrigue me a lot because their grip is very close to that of the Keris hilt from South Sumatra.
However, the base of these handles is typically Javanese.

The two Keris come from two different collections.
In both cases there is unfortunately no Mendak.
What type of Mendak would be the most suitable?
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Old 17th July 2021, 06:29 PM   #2
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IMO these 2 hilts are indeed in burung style from South Sumatra, while the scabbards are rather from NW Java (just in front from each other). And the blades....
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Old 17th July 2021, 07:45 PM   #3
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Yes there is nothing exceptional about the blades ... one was probably beautiful in her youth, but is now just a ghost. The other is really very basic and still covered in rust.

I do not remember having seen identical handles mounted on Sumatran Keris (where the blade and the scabbard are typical of sumatra).
The Burung handles that I am used to seeing from South Sumatra usually have a sort of "ruff collar" at their base, just above the Selut (see the picture of hilt from Detlef collection).
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Old 17th July 2021, 08:54 PM   #4
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It is sometimes almost impossible to distinguish between S Sumatran and NW Javanese Keris indeed, if we are looking for older specimens. There are at least a couple of sheath and hilt forms from W Java, which are old ones, seldom seen, and not (videly) published (and mistaken for S Sumatra, E Java or even Bali forms).

The origin of the hilts presented (in #1) can also be W Java.

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Old 17th July 2021, 09:06 PM   #5
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Athanase, the hilt which you just showed is a different animal from South Sumatra, a Jawa demam type and not burung, I will attach the pics of the 2 types for comparison.
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Old 17th July 2021, 09:12 PM   #6
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Pics of the 2 types of hilts, both from South Sumatra IMO but I may be wrong?
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Old 17th July 2021, 09:20 PM   #7
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Do the atribution to Lampung for the hilts from #1 go back to Jensen, or was this done already before him?

One from Tradescant collection has an european (?) replacement instead of Mendak, the Nr. 2884 from Dresden, which perhaps also goes back to 17th cent., has a Javanese Mendak.
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Old 17th July 2021, 09:28 PM   #8
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As so often, we have been through this already a time before.

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...irebon+lampung

Today I am quite sure, hilts like those from #1 can be found also in W Java and most probably originated there.
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Old 18th July 2021, 02:22 AM   #9
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For me the sheath and mendak of keris n148 and 158 in Jensen's Krisdisk are Javanese. But that's just my feeling when comparing lines of these hilt and sheath with examples whose origin leaves no doubt.

My a priori comes from the fact that I have never seen this type of handle mounted on a blade, with a mendak or selut and in a scabbard typically originating from sumatra.
While I have already seen several examples with Javanese blades, mendaks and scabbards.

But this is maybe just random of the photos I saw on the net.

In ancient discussions people from lampung say they have similar handles in their area called "hulu luday".
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Old 18th July 2021, 10:51 AM   #10
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Yes Athanase, you seem right about pics N 148 and 158 in Jensen's Krisdisk.
However I never saw such a hilt attributed to NW Java in any reference book, for instance the books from Vanna Ghiringhelli, Tammens, and Marco all point out to South Sumatra but who knows as they may be copied on each other....
I attach the pic of one of my Sumatra krisses with such type of hilt but cannot guarantee that they are old and originally matching.
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Old 18th July 2021, 08:13 PM   #11
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I have four handles in this style in my collection, one is very big (the one on the right), I really doubt the Palembang attribution and I believe they originate from West Java but this is just my feeling.
The base of this handle style would fit much better with a Javanese mendak as with a Palembang pendokok, look for example the keris from Jean, in my opinion it's a mismatch, sorry Jean!

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Old 19th July 2021, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post
Do the atribution to Lampung for the hilts from #1 go back to Jensen, or was this done already before him?

One from Tradescant collection has an european (?) replacement instead of Mendak, the Nr. 2884 from Dresden, which perhaps also goes back to 17th cent., has a Javanese Mendak.
Hello Gustav,
The book from Jensen in Danish language was published in 1998 and it shows the attached kris N 2884 from Dresden with this style of hilt and attributed to Lampung. The scabbard and mendak could be Javanese indeed but the blade is very different from the strong blades of the same period brought from Banten and Blambangan.
Some earlier books like the ones from Tammens (1994) show rather similar hilts attributed to Palembang (Vol. 3, pages 187 & 188).
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Old 19th July 2021, 11:59 AM   #13
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Jean, thank you.

I have both works of Jensen, I don't have Tammens vol. 3, I have seen Nr. 2884 in Dresden.

For the hilt form, I would say, not Banten, more likely North coast, perhaps Cirebon. Nr. 2884 is a small blade (about 33 cm), and has lost much of it's material and shape - look at the Wadidang, the strong base of Kembang Kacang (with KK itself almost completely gone), and how thin the blade suddenly becomes abowe it at the first Luk. The sheath is very close or identical to what today would be attributed to Cirebon.

The blades from #1 also are small ones, and we see small blades from Cirebon and Tegal.

Jensen in his book generally attributes the big blades to Banten and Blambangan, shifts some small blades, like Fig. 71 to Cirebon, Fig. 77 to Mataram (which clearly is nonsense), and allows other small blades stay in his Banten classification, like Fig. 52 (blade about 30 cm) and Fig. 64 (about 33 cm).

What I want to say is, possibly we would encounter such hilt in S Sumatra, we possibly would encounter even a sheath form, which today commonly would be attributed to N W Java coast, in S Sumatra, not to speak about blade forms.

But the origin of expansion of these forms most likely will be N W coast of Java.

Last edited by Gustav; 19th July 2021 at 01:18 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 19th July 2021, 01:05 PM   #14
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Thank you Gustav and I don't disagree with you regarding Jensen (nobody is perfect but he was a precious contributor to the keris story).
I attach the pics of the 2 similar (but not equivalent) hilts from Tammens just for your reference.
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Old 19th July 2021, 01:17 PM   #15
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Thank you, Jean.
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Old 19th July 2021, 04:10 PM   #16
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I note that the handle reported as coming from Lampung in Tammens Vol. 3 is typical of Cirebon.
Even though the hilt style of this subject is from Lampung, I don't have a Selut to go with it, and the scabbards are from Java so I put on mendaks that I had in stock (an old one (left) and a new one in an old style (right)).
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