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Old 17th September 2021, 11:33 AM   #1
morel5000
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Default Keris Combong with markings

Hi All,

I recently obtained this Keris. I am building a small collection and as I live in the Netherlands, Kerisses can be found here a lot. I will present more of my small collection later on.

The blade shows some inscriptions, or markings. Can anyone tell me what the mean?
Is this a true Keris Combong?

Thanks and best wishes to all,
Michel
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Old 18th September 2021, 09:27 PM   #2
David
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Welcome to the forum!
That does seem to always be the question when we encounter keris that claim to be complong (combong), is it true complong?
For my money to be assessed "true", complong must be a matter of intentional forging. So this rules out holes in sogokan worn through by years of acid washing or slits in the blade from weld failures.
When i look at yours i'm on the fence a bit. The slit in the blade does seem to trace along a weld split. But if that is the case it appears to have been widened and made large on purpose. I suppose it is possible that this open seem was always in the mind of the smith from the get-go. Or it might have been ab after-thought. The weld failed, he couldn't fix it, so he made the best of it and enlarged it to look intentional. Another possibility is that this weld failed after a time and someone came along and decided to make the best of it and turn this into a complong blade. I don't think knowing for sure is possible, which brings us back to belief, a concept upon which many assessments in the keris world are based.
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Old 18th September 2021, 11:05 PM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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The way I was taught to understand complong was that it could be either an intentionally forged hole or gap ("complong" (Jav.) simply means "hole or gap or opening") or one that has been developed through the passing of time.

If it has been developed through the passing of time it has developed because time and its effects are an aspect of God, thus if this complong has any power, that power comes from God.

If the complong was intentionally forged, then that is a complong that has been created by man, so if it has any power, that power depends upon the power of the man who forged it.

Do we trust the power of God, or the power of man?

Then again, some complong are simply the result of bad luck or of incompetence on the part of the man who forged the keris.

How do we distinguish between God, intention, and incompetence?

Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 19th September 2021 at 06:43 AM. Reason: missing word
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Old 19th September 2021, 05:59 PM   #4
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Thank you very much, David and A.G. Maisey. Never looked at it that way. Looking at the way the grain of the iron flows, I think it was there during forging. Intentionally? I don't know.

What about the markings? Do they shed any more light on the Keris?
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Old 20th September 2021, 01:15 AM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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I can see something that looks like the remains of markings, but I cannot make much of it, one of these markings looks a bit like erosion of a lamination.

Sorry, I cannot give any opinion on these marks.

With the complong, yeah, certainly it was a cold shut , and when the base of the blade was forged out it opened up. But in my book it makes no real difference.

Whatever one believes will work, will, in fact work --- just maybe not because of the reason that is believed in.
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Old 20th September 2021, 01:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
With the complong, yeah, certainly it was a cold shut , and when the base of the blade was forged out it opened up. But in my book it makes no real difference.

Whatever one believes will work, will, in fact work --- just maybe not because of the reason that is believed in.
Based upon your experience Alan do you believe this cold shut would have then been worked further to open it up more? It seems pretty wide to have accidentally reached this form. My feeling is that the cold shut formed and then the smith decided to exaggerate it it make it complong.
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Old 20th September 2021, 09:24 PM   #7
A. G. Maisey
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Sorry David, I have no way in which to form opinion.

If I look at the grain of the iron, it does not appear to be broken, the same grain line flows through, as far as I can see. I suppose it is possible that the smith might have driven a chisel down into a smaller split and made it bigger, or even some owner might have done the same.

It is an old blade, it has had a lot of owners, anything is possible.
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Old 21st September 2021, 01:04 PM   #8
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Thanks Alan.
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Old 25th September 2021, 05:27 PM   #9
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Thanks again. How is this Pamor called? Pamor Adeg?
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Old 30th May 2024, 07:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Based upon your experience Alan do you believe this cold shut would have then been worked further to open it up more? It seems pretty wide to have accidentally reached this form. My feeling is that the cold shut formed and then the smith decided to exaggerate it it make it complong.
Hi All,

What is your opinion on this complong? Power of God or Power of Man?

Cheers.
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Old 30th May 2024, 07:40 AM   #11
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I'm not entirely sure the smaller section next to the gap was originally part of this keris, the sheen on the surface seems much duller, the garap on the greneng is a bit less crisp and the pamor lines dont seem to line up particularly well. Of course that may all be a function of oil on the keris, lighting in the photograph etc. If it is original then I suspect there has been some human intervention as there seems to be a little buckle in the metal at the far end of the complong
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Old 1st June 2024, 09:35 AM   #12
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I think this is a " Power of G-D" combong , in other words, something which happened in the forging process.

Is this a " mistake"? Is this an " educated mistake"?

Well, I don't know.

I own one Combong which was revered by his previous Indonesian owner. In my opinion it was made by using a process which would have easily brought the blade to show a cold shut


http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27671



As usual put two people together and you will easily get at least three opinions so I chose to form my own opinions.
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Old 1st June 2024, 03:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdavid View Post
I'm not entirely sure the smaller section next to the gap was originally part of this keris, the sheen on the surface seems much duller, the garap on the greneng is a bit less crisp and the pamor lines dont seem to line up particularly well. Of course that may all be a function of oil on the keris, lighting in the photograph etc. If it is original then I suspect there has been some human intervention as there seems to be a little buckle in the metal at the far end of the complong
DrD
Thanks drdavid and milandro for you comments.What would your opinion be on this one?

Cheers.
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Old 1st June 2024, 10:58 PM   #14
A. G. Maisey
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Oariff, Post #10

am I to respond logically & as a person who has more than a little knowledge of forge work, or am I to respond as a "True Believer" ?
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Old 3rd June 2024, 08:11 AM   #15
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I don't know what to think about this spear (I hesitate to call it a tombak ), it was made yesterday and everything about it screams " made to look like something that would sell" .

I was watching another thread with a fantasy kris . I don't have anything against modern made krises but I see an increasing amount of fantasy pieces being sold lately , true the kris evolves now as it must have done in the past but the evolution is driven by the commerce.

On a related note.

Some time ago there was a Moro kris showing what is not a twist core but a thin layer of Damascus pattern applied to the central part of the blade. I was pretty shocked . I have noticed that on aliexpress they offer thin Damascus forged sheets of metal for not very much money. If I put two and two together I see that soon we are going to see such " inserts" ( I am not going to upload them since they are sold there but they are easy to find under Damascus metal)
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Old 4th June 2024, 02:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
Oariff, Post #10

am I to respond logically & as a person who has more than a little knowledge of forge work, or am I to respond as a "True Believer" ?
Hi Alan,

Perhaps for this one - logically & as a person who probably has more hikmah (wisdom) and first hand experience of keris forge work than everyone else.

The complong in these two examples - Is it in your opinion, based on these images on a screen, intentional or unintentional? Or perhaps a bit of both. Are they even complong in the first place or just a hole in the blade. Of course, your opinion can change if you had the keris or spear/tombak in hand.

For a newbie like me, its about trying to figure out and understand the object that is in our collection. Origin, Technical/Specs, New or Old, Originals or Copy etc etc. Most important is what story does a particular object tell - and everybody will have their own version - reality/fantasy, right/wrong, etc etc.

Cheers.
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Old 4th June 2024, 10:13 PM   #17
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oariff

thank you for your compliment, but it is inaccurate, yes, I do have a good depth of knowledge in respect of forge work, but only insofar as it relates to the making of blades, nearly all other blacksmiths' abilities are not something I ever learnt, nor did I wish to learn.

about this tombak.

the maker had already sunk money into a ship that was never going to float, the work had a massive cold shut in it, he needed to at least try to cover his expenses so he did his best to make it saleable.

the end consumer of complex forge work never gets to know how many pieces fail during the process of making. If a man has a reputation, or is trying to build one, he never, ever lets the consumers of his work see the failures, and when a piece of work fails, well, that becomes a business overhead, rather than a successful sale, and that overhead becomes something that future sales must cover.

This is not unique to smiths in Madura, or Indonesia, or SE Asia, it has applied to smiths across the world & throughout history.
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