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Old 13th April 2023, 04:39 AM   #1
jagabuwana
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Default Modern keris bethok

How's it going everyone?

Thought I'd share this keris bethok. Definitely made in recent times but with old features like a thick square tang and an iron methuk.

I've been told the warangka timber is Philippine ebony. Whatever it is, neither it nor the handle done with much precision.

The keris is very heavy in hand and you'd sooner club someone to death with it than stab them. I've been informed that in Jawa people refer to it, perhaps jokingly as a "linggis" - a long, straight and heavy crowbar used for digging out fence posts.

It aint much to look at, but I like it.
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Old 13th April 2023, 05:26 AM   #2
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I also like it.

No core, right?
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Old 13th April 2023, 08:08 AM   #3
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The pamor goes all the way to the edges. I'm not sure if this means there is no core or if there is a core but it hasn't been exposed. How can I tell?
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Old 13th April 2023, 09:35 AM   #4
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From what I see in the picture, it has a core.
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Old 13th April 2023, 03:48 PM   #5
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There is a wood known as Kamagong which is sometimes called "Philippine Macassar Ebony". I can't say for sure if this is that wood or not. Examples i have seen seen to have more veins of darker coloured wood running throughout and i believe it is these darker areas of the wood that leads people to liken it to ebony.
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Old 13th April 2023, 06:24 PM   #6
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What we are looking at here in your example David is a log that has been milled to use both sapwood and heartwood;- the sapwood is light coloured and the heartwood is dark coloured.

Only the heartwood of any of the ebony trees is valuable, if we see only the sapwood, it is very difficult to know exactly what we are looking at.
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Old 14th April 2023, 02:53 AM   #7
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Yes Alan. Thatís why I wrote ďI canít be sure if this is that wood or not.Ē
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Old 14th April 2023, 01:45 PM   #8
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Yes, understood.
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Old 7th July 2023, 09:45 AM   #9
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I too have purchased a modern bethok.

The shape really appeals to me and I came across one which was not consumed by acids to pretend age and simply showed a nicely made (in my opinion) kris with a simple pamor which I believe could be called Pulo Tirto.
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Old 26th July 2023, 02:51 PM   #10
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I really had expected at least some comment about my modern betook, granted it is as new as they come but stil probably deserved at least some comment
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Old 27th July 2023, 09:30 AM   #11
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I have personally not much to say about these modern pieces, only that the pamor does not look typical of Pulo Tirto (islands in the sea) IMO, and the dapur is odd....
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Old 27th July 2023, 09:38 AM   #12
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well the Dhapur, color and pamor (whatever it is) is what attracted me.

I find it very nicely styled and I particularly appreciate the fact that they decided not to immerse it in acid to give it a pretend ancient look. I wanted to have precisely such thing and a German dealer in Denpasar whom I had asked to be on the lookout showed me this. It was not too expensive so I decided to acquire it.



Thank you for your comment Jean, maybe others would care to join in the conversation
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Old 29th July 2023, 04:29 PM   #13
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Well, i might have something to say, but for some reason this is all i can currently see of your posted bethok.
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Old 29th July 2023, 05:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Well, i might have something to say, but for some reason this is all i can currently see of your posted bethok.
I have no idea why, but I can see it perfectly and Jean has seen it too (or he wouldn't have been able to comment) , there has to be something wrong, maybe your browser?
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Old 29th July 2023, 06:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milandro View Post
I have no idea why, but I can see it perfectly and Jean has seen it too (or he wouldn't have been able to comment) , there has to be something wrong, maybe your browser?
Yeah, weird. I can see it now, so some kind of weird browse glitch to something. Yours seems like a nice modern example. If i were to acquire a modern example of this form i would also prefer one that has not been artificially aged.
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Old 29th July 2023, 08:08 PM   #16
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cheers , yes, I like its simplicity and I find it very pure in its shape. Odd, yes, maybe, but odd isn't necessarily bad
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Old 30th July 2023, 12:35 AM   #17
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I have not previously commented because I cannot see anything to comment on.

It is a current era keris, the craftsmanship appears to be middle of the road, ie, neither good nor poor, the form is moderately unusual, but this is a pretty common characteristic of current era keris, it has a random pamor that was probably too thin to begin with --- or maybe the slorok was too thick --- & was unable to support the carver's needs. The curve where the blumbangan meets the kruwingan appears to be very clumsy, but this could just as easily be because of the way the light falls.

The wrongko is poorly carved, I cannot comment on the hilt because I cannot see enough of it.

I cannot see anything in this keris that would make it weird or unusual for a current era keris of this quality. I rather like the elongated gandhik with its Sunda style curve, the gonjo appears to be neatly fitted, I do not like the failure to manage the ada-ada in a more harmonious way, but any minor criticisms that might be able to be made of this keris are not justifiable:- it is what it is, and it does not pretend to be a major work of art.
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Old 30th July 2023, 10:31 AM   #18
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Alan,
Very accurate and detailed comment, thank you!
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Old 27th August 2023, 05:15 AM   #19
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It took a bit of time to find my example.
Worth the wait imo.
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Old 27th August 2023, 08:43 AM   #20
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I Like it, stylish and simple
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Old 27th August 2023, 10:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
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It took a bit of time to find my example.
Worth the wait imo.
Definitely worth the wait I love it.

Similar of yours made by Pak Sukamdi (from Keris Jawa book)
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Old 27th August 2023, 11:44 AM   #22
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Well, it's time to add two of my favorite pictures.
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Old 27th August 2023, 11:47 AM   #23
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well, forging of blades it is a flourishing industry in the Indonesian archipelago and there is no shortage of modern blades.

Personally I find the bethok forms very elegant.

I wanted to have one and when it was offered to me from my German correspondent on Bali I took it.
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Old 27th August 2023, 12:10 PM   #24
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Most of the lately posted here actually are Jalak Budho.

At least some if not most of blades in my pics will end as "river findings".

Regarding the Keris of Milandro, I would like to add, strangeness of the impression is greatly created by the shape of Gandhik, inspired by the long and thin "false Gandhik" which on Dhapur Sineba blades are found on backside. I constantly find myself thinking I'm looking on a reversed picture of a Keris Dhapur Sineba, but where the normaly Gandhik should be there suddenly is Wadidang and Buntut. A mind twisting experience.
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Old 27th August 2023, 12:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post
Most of the lately posted here actually are Jalak Budho.

At least some if not most of blades in my pics will end as "river findings".

Regarding the Keris of Milandro, I would like to add, strangeness of the impression is greatly created by the shape of Gandhik, inspired by the long and thin "false Gandhik" which on Dhapur Sineba blades are found on backside. I constantly find myself thinking I'm looking on a reversed picture of a Keris Dhapur Sineba, but where the normaly Gandhik should be there suddenly is Wadidang and Buntut. A mind twisting experience.
Thanks, I see where you are coming from. Yet I can't help finding my kris very attractive (to me) and at the very least it is honestly young and not pretending to be ancient.

About the so called " river findings ", I find they are astonishing obvious fakes, made on purpose to deceive ( but I really don't know who they are deceiving). To me they are like " relic" guitars or cameras made with pre worn-out accents or new hats with burned or soiled bits to pretend and use and age that they don't have. I don't understand it or netter, I do not comprehend it (there is , in my mind a different , I may understand something as something that happens outside me, comprehend involves me " including a concept" within me.
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Old 28th August 2023, 03:49 AM   #26
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Quote:
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About the so called " river findings ", I find they are astonishing obvious fakes, made on purpose to deceive ( but I really don't know who they are deceiving). To me they are like " relic" guitars or cameras made with pre worn-out accents or new hats with burned or soiled bits to pretend and use and age that they don't have. I don't understand it or netter, I do not comprehend it (there is , in my mind a different , I may understand something as something that happens outside me, comprehend involves me " including a concept" within me.
I have the same trouble that you have Milandro. In the West we buy pre-distressed blue jeans, leather jackets and such which are worn in public as some kind of fashion statement for other people to see.
A keris is a private thing to own and not to wear in public to impress.
Gustav has shown us hundreds of new kerises going through the process of artificial aging. I run headlong into the problem for me as a westerner believing that Indonesian peoples are NOT aware of the fact that a vast majority of these ancient keris are not ancient and have been made to deceive. There is no magick or internal spirit (isi?) in these pieces of artificially decaying metal.
I'd like to be able to understand the cultural importance of these counterfeit Tosan Aji.
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Old 28th August 2023, 10:20 AM   #27
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Quote:
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Well, it's time to add two of my favorite pictures.
Thank you Gustav, impressive!
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Old 28th August 2023, 06:51 PM   #28
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Quote:
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About the so called " river findings ", I find they are astonishing obvious fakes, made on purpose to deceive ( but I really don't know who they are deceiving).
They are deceiving a great many collectors and many of them are Indonesians. I see these "river finds" proudly posted all the time on social media keris pages by collectors from the region. People want to believe they are real ancient artifacts and so they accept them as such.
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Old 28th August 2023, 06:54 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Most of the lately posted here actually are Jalak Budho.

At least some if not most of blades in my pics will end as "river findings".
So these are photos that you took while in Indonesia? Can you tell us anymore about that encounter and what they told you about these blades and their intended futures?
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Old 29th August 2023, 06:26 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
So these are photos that you took while in Indonesia? Can you tell us anymore about that encounter and what they told you about these blades and their intended futures?
Just a better-than-average day combing the banks of the ole Musi river, David!
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