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Old 31st March 2021, 05:35 PM   #1
David
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Default Bugis Keris

I have had this Bugis keris for some time, but have only recently gotten around to photographing it. I do have a few questions which i hope somebody might be able to help me with.
First is origin. I posted this recently on some other pages. The majority seemed to clearly believe this to be a Terengganu. But a reasonable minority seemed equally convinced it is from Sumatra. There do seem to be some conflicting elements present here, though i am convinced that the ensemble is original, not a mismatched marriage. So i am curious how this group sees it and why.
The hilt seems to be of marine origin. At least that is what i assume from the general look and the triangular root hole at the top. Anybody have opinions on the source? Sperm whale?
The form of this Jawa Deman seems to be bit of a hybrid. There are elements of pipit teleng, but it does seem not fully, with other influences at work. The overall shape looks different from the pipit teleng form. And the engraved markings seem unusual and unique for this style of hilt. The leaf pattern on the top of the head seems like it might have some symbolic significance, but i don't know what exactly. Anyone have a hilt like this one to compare?
The hilt is made with lovely chatoyant flashing grains. The string wrap on the stem seems odd for Terengganu though, but this is not an area i really know that much about. I frankly get a bit lost and confused with the Malay side of the keris world.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 31st March 2021, 06:41 PM   #2
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Here are just a couple more shots. Jean, i'd particularly interested in what you thing about this hilt.
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Old 31st March 2021, 08:29 PM   #3
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Hello David,
Lovely Bugis piece, congrats! I basically agree with what you say but I am also confused about its origin.
I would place it in Eastern Sumatra (Riau Lingga) but do not know much about Peninsular krisses so I cannot discard it as a possible origin.
The hilt is puzzling me indeed because of it unusual style, basically a anak ayam/ pipit teleng but with a floral decoration, spiral eyes, and protruding head like a Bugis rekko hilt! I show you my 2 closest pieces but they are different from yours.
Regarding the ivory type, I have noticed some parallel lines on the top side especially but they are not Retzius lines and the ivory aspect does not look to be from elephant. But the dotted line visible on the front side especially (with a colour change) calls for hippo ivory IMO, also the very smooth surface and absence of cracks. However the colour is a bit dark for hippo ivory.
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Old 31st March 2021, 09:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for your input Jean. The hilt does seem to be a bit of an enigma. A little bit each of different style as you have noted. Certainly it has good age as i think the patina shows. My first impressions brought be to Sumatra, but as i stated, in two separate keris pages i posted this on it was about 75% Terengganu or more to a minority claiming Sumatra. For what it is worth these were mostly the opinions of Indonesian collectors. I suppose it is possible that the sheath is what is swaying those assumptions. But like you my understanding of Peninsula keris is rather limited and i still have a lot of difficulty deducing the differences between Malay sheath forms. The blade itself seems a typical Bugis style so it does not, for me at least, reveal anything about origin. Could be from anywhere he Bugis settled which covers a bit of ground.
I noted the one dotted line down the front of the hilt and also wondered about hippo, but i have seen the open root hole on the top of hilts more often with whale teeth hilts so i wasn't sure. Regardless it has a wonderful color and consistency. I think the colour of ivory is very often caused by its environment so perhaps that is not necessarily a deciding factor in a determination of the material's source.
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Old 31st March 2021, 11:08 PM   #5
jagabuwana
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That's a lovely piece!

I hope I'm not derailing where you intended your post to go David, but a couple of questions question to all:

- what is the name of the binding or thread wrap that covers the bottom half of the wrongko?
- was there a functional purpose for these or is it purely aesthetic?
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Old 31st March 2021, 11:18 PM   #6
A. G. Maisey
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I do not know the name, if indeed there is some special name, but what I have noticed is that this binding seems to occur mostly on a gandar that is made in two pieces. Some two piece gandars have metal bands, this binding probably serves the purpose of keeping the two halves of the gandar together.
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Old 1st April 2021, 05:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagabuwana
That's a lovely piece!

I hope I'm not derailing where you intended your post to go David, but a couple of questions question to all:

- what is the name of the binding or thread wrap that covers the bottom half of the wrongko?
- was there a functional purpose for these or is it purely aesthetic?
You could not possibly derail the thread with such questions. In fact they were ones i was already considering that i hadn't asked.
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