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Old 21st January 2023, 05:00 AM   #1
Anthony G.
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Default Sumatran keris

Do you think this is a Javanese keris bilah, despite being in a Sumatran keris dress.
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Old 21st January 2023, 09:32 AM   #2
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Despite the Lampung (or perhaps Palembang but I believe is the first) hilt and selut , this is a think, a Javanese or perhaps even more likely Maduran blade.

I have had a couple of similar blades in the past but I din't keep pictures

Last edited by milandro; 21st January 2023 at 11:40 AM. Reason: wrote sumatran but meant Javanese
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Old 21st January 2023, 10:25 AM   #3
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I'll offer an opinion, with a disclaimer that you probably shouldn't put much stock into it because I'm hoping to use it an opportunity to test myself and see what more experienced members have to say to compare.

I say Javanese based on:
- the long-ish gonjo with the tungkakan and spur ricikan (is this ari pandan). I don't know these to be Sumatran features.
- the boto rubuh blumbangan, which might lend evidence to more specific Javanese classifications like West Jawa/Sunda, except I think maybe the gonjo does not support a West Jawa claim.
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Old 21st January 2023, 11:37 AM   #4
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In my opinion this type of blade style spreads throughout West Java up to Palembang in Sumatera. There is very little reliable guide can be used to differentiate accurately the origin of the blade. It could well be a Sumatran piece as well as West Java piece. Style indicators can be mixed with pieces from this area.

In my opinion, what is important is that this blade has good quality and the overall blade style and dress matches the possible geographical origin of the keris. No point arguing on the origin of the blade.
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Old 21st January 2023, 03:00 PM   #5
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Thatís a lot to determine from a single over all photo viewed on the internet. Also, I am currently looking at this on my phone, so I donít have the best view. We all know that certain in areas of Sumatra such as Palembang keris were greatly influenced by Jawa.
I might change my mind later when I can see this photo more closely, but this could very well be a Sumatran blade.
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Old 21st January 2023, 06:22 PM   #6
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I will also say that if we are to look at a photo and try to assess a keris that the best orientation to do that is with the keris pointing upwards.
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Old 21st January 2023, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagabuwana View Post
- the long-ish gonjo with the tungkakan and spur ricikan (is this ari pandan). I don't know these to be Sumatran features.
I can address this one concern and say definitively that this spur feature on the gonjo (and i am not sure is this specific feature, when a stand alone in this position on the gonjo, is called ri pandan or not) can indeed be found on Sumatran keris.
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Old 21st January 2023, 07:07 PM   #8
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Anthony, has the gonjo been made as a separate forging, and is that forging a complex pamor miring?
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Old 21st January 2023, 09:16 PM   #9
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Good questions Alan, and i would suggest that Anthony upload some higher quality close up images. I think it is difficult to be too sure about anything from this one photo.
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Old 21st January 2023, 09:21 PM   #10
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David, this could be a Keris from one of Alan's previous catalogues. The Gonjo seems to be separately forged from a twisted bar.
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Old 21st January 2023, 09:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post
David, this could be a Keris from one of Alan's previous catalogues. The Gonjo seems to be separately forged from a twisted bar.
Yes, i agree that the gonjo does seem to be a separate forging, but still the image pixelates too quickly when i try to enlarge it.
I'm sure Alan will be able to tell us if this was a keris he had sold, especially once Anthony replies and possibly adds more detailed images.
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Old 21st January 2023, 09:36 PM   #12
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Well, let's formulate that in a different way - the Gonjo is made from a twisted bar and separately forged.
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Old 21st January 2023, 10:16 PM   #13
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Here's my take. The tunggakan can be found on Palembang keris too. The twisted gonjo can be from anywhere. East coast Malaysia Bugis keris also tend to have a twisted bar gonjo even if the blade is mlumah. The blumbangan looks square - Mataram influenced. The front of gandik is curved - West Java, but many later keris use this feature as well.

So this keris overall style is a Mataram style with West Java influence. The thing about West Java keris is that they usually have a forging flaw somewhere on the blade. But I can't say this for all keris, obviously. Some West Javan keris are very nice kerises. This one appears to have good quality forging. So, I have to vote, I'll lean against Sumatra on this one. Usually the provenance of the keris will be used to determine the final verdict.

Below is a photo of the greneng of my Palembang keris. The keris has a square blumbangan, and the greneng is Surakarta. The blumbangan is cut in the style of this keris uploaded by Anthony.
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Old 21st January 2023, 10:23 PM   #14
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I agree with Rasdan on matter of separately forged Gonjo with complex Pamor found on Peninsula (and Sumatra).

Blumbangan here more likely is Mboto Rubuh.
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Old 21st January 2023, 11:09 PM   #15
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It seems that I might be a little less perceptive than some other people.

To me, the gonjo appears to be manipulated into a pamor miring pattern, but from the photos, and most especially, with only photos to help me, I cannot be any more certain than that the gonjo appears to be manipulated, and might be separately forged.

Something else that I feel I might be seeing is a keris with a collection of characteristics that are normally associated with a variety of keris from a variety of different locations and different time periods.

Based upon what I believe I can see in the photos I do not have sufficient information to form any supportable opinion.

Currently, I'm looking at a puzzle.
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Old 21st January 2023, 11:31 PM   #16
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G'day Alan,

This keris was in cat #79; your description back then:
Quote:
Keris 2
A South Sumatra keris of 11 Luk (waves), the blade is an old one estimated as first half of the 19th century, and had its origin in West Java, probably Banten, indicated by the concave gandhik and the boto rubuh blumbangan. This is an old blade of very high quality, the pamor is wos wutah, but the pamor of the gonjo is a complex pamor miring, the gonjo is bekas kinatah, that is, it once had kinatah work, but all that can be seen of that work now is the carving that supported it and a few specks of gold. The garap (workmanship) is masterful. This is a very high quality wilah (blade), and is certainly the work of a skilled empu.
<snip>
I bought this keris at auction in Sydney in the 1960's, when I acquired it, it was in poor condition and it has now been restored. Condition is perfect.

Blade length 15.25"" (387mm) overall length 18.75" (475mm)
Hope this helps!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 21st January 2023, 11:59 PM   #17
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Does the close-up help?
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
Anthony, has the gonjo been made as a separate forging, and is that forging a complex pamor miring?

Hi Alan

Good day. The gonjo is indeed a separate piece and left a bit of gold marking. It is a well forged pamor miring.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I will also say that if we are to look at a photo and try to assess a keris that the best orientation to do that is with the keris pointing upwards.
True, thanks for the advice
I will keep that in mind.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:17 AM   #20
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Thank you Kai, I thought it looked familiar, and if that was my description when I listed it, it is still my description now.

I cannot remember everything, and once a keris leaves my hands the info I have on it gets put away.

EDIT

I've been reflecting on this keris, and I think it provides a very valuable lesson for all of us.

We all understand that it is often difficult to appraise a keris from a (usually) poor image on a screen. OK, that's a given.

But here we have a keris that I had for many years, that I sold several years ago, and that when I saw it on the screen, it confused me, I had forgotten it & did not recognise it as one I had once had in my possession.

To a degree this reflects my aging memory, but I think that just as much, it reflects how difficult it can be to appraise a keris from a photograph.

We all need to remember that a photo is only a very small part of the story, we should never be too certain about anything when the only information available is an image, especially when that image is on a screen.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 22nd January 2023 at 08:58 PM. Reason: further comment
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Old 22nd January 2023, 12:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai View Post
Does the close-up help?

Gorgeous!
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Old 22nd January 2023, 02:39 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai View Post
G'day Alan,

This keris was in cat #79; your description back then:

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Kai

Thanks. So I concluded is a Javanese keris then.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 03:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai View Post
Does the close-up help?
I agree with Gustav. Blumbangan is actually boto rubuh. So now I think it is West Java.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 03:22 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony G. View Post
Thanks. So I concluded is a Javanese keris then.
Well, the bottom line is that it is quite a beautiful keris regardless of place of origin, which was probably only of passing concern to the person who placed it in Sumatran dress to begin with.
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Old 22nd January 2023, 09:03 PM   #25
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This is what this keris looked like when I had it.
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Old 23rd January 2023, 02:23 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
This is what this keris looked like when I had it.
Yes, that is correct and it is a wonderful piece. Someone told me it is not Sumatran but Javanese keris bilah and that kick me start wondering.
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