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Old 14th February 2016, 10:16 AM   #1
mariusgmioc
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Default Keris Bugis discussion

Hello,
I am opening a new thread hoping to learn more about the new Keris I just purchased. I have been told that the blade is about 18th century but I am not convinced, so your opinions would be welcomed. I am also intrigued by the bent human figure of the hilt. Any idea who or what may it symbolize?!
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Old 14th February 2016, 11:04 AM   #2
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Hello Marius,

the blade of your keris seems to be old but I believe that the scabbard and hilt are very recent. Could it be that you have bought it from a Balinese dealer? The hilt is in the style of Bone keris, see for example here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=toraja
I never have seen such a keris in silver, all I have seen has had golden colour, worked from brass or gilded silver or even thin gold foil.
The workmaship is very good by your keris but like said I think very recent and probably worked on Bali. The figure I don't know by name but I think that it is a Hindu figure.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 14th February 2016, 11:44 AM   #3
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I fully agree with Detlef, and the new hilt (copied from old Sulawesi or Sumbawa royal krisses) may depict Arjuna, one of the Pandawa brothers.
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Old 14th February 2016, 12:11 PM   #4
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Thank you very much for your feedback!
I believe the dealer is from Java but I am not sure.
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Old 2nd September 2016, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
Hello,
I am opening a new thread hoping to learn more about the new Keris I just purchased. I have been told that the blade is about 18th century but I am not convinced, so your opinions would be welcomed. I am also intrigued by the bent human figure of the hilt. Any idea who or what may it symbolize?!

Just see the material and warangka, it's not bugis. You can found keris like this in Sumbawa, bali, and madura.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 08:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerisbiz
Just see the material and warangka, it's not bugis. You can found keris like this in Sumbawa, bali, and madura.
Hello Krisbiz,
The blade seems Bugis or at least Bugis-influenced to me according to the triangular pamor pattern at the base and shape of the blade & ganja, any other opinion?
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Old 3rd September 2016, 05:58 PM   #7
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I dunno. I don't really see a Bugis blade here either. That very pronounced, brick-like gandik is not what i generally see in Bugis keris. The overall dhapur seems wrongg to me for Bugis work. However, neither does this appear to be a Bali or Maduran keris if Kerisbiz was referring to the blade only when he made his last comment.
If he was referring to the dress, this is certainly not dress that is stylistically Balinese or Maduran, though i do understand that there is a possibility, as Detlef suggested, that the craftsmanship of such a contemporary manufacture might be Balinese. Certainly not the form though.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 11:35 PM   #8
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It seems to be the opinion of the bulk of indigenous keris authorities in S.E. Asia that genuine Bugis keris blades have flat faces and sharply angled decline (gusen, kusen) to cutting edge from those faces.

If I say:- "genuine Bugis" I'm talking about Sulawesi.

All through S.E.Asia, in the Peninsula, Sumatra, along the North Coast of Jawa, in Lombok, in the further Eastern Islands, in scattered small islands throughout the Archipelago we can find keris blades that have the overall appearance (pawakan) of genuine Bugis blades, but that lack the flat faces and gusen of the genuine Bugis blade.

Does this blade have flat faces?

Does this blade have sharply angled gusen?

Is it genuine Bugis, or Bugis influenced?

In respect of the silver work.

Kota Gede near Jogjakarta in Central Jawa is, I believe, the biggest, most experienced, most productive manufacturer of silver work in Indonesia, quality ranges from work that is second to none to quality that is pretty rough.

Celuk in Bali is probably producer number two.

The other two major silver work producing centres are Kendari in Sulawesi and Kotagadhang in Sumatra. By all accounts these two centres do not produce quality that is the equal of Kota Gede and Celuk. I have not seen work that I know to have come from either of these two places.

There are silver workers in many other areas in Indonesia, but in my understanding, these small, stand-alone workshops are owned and staffed by men who are the inheritors of the skills of the major silver working centres.

I doubt that it is possible to guess where the silver work for this keris comes from. To my eye both hilt and scabbard, considered together, appear to be Celuk work, but realistically they could have been made anywhere.
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Old 4th September 2016, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
In respect of the silver work.

Kota Gede near Jogjakarta in Central Jawa is, I believe, the biggest, most experienced, most productive manufacturer of silver work in Indonesia, quality ranges from work that is second to none to quality that is pretty rough.

Celuk in Bali is probably producer number two.

The other two major silver work producing centres are Kendari in Sulawesi and Kotagadhang in Sumatra. By all accounts these two centres do not produce quality that is the equal of Kota Gede and Celuk. I have not seen work that I know to have come from either of these two places.

There are silver workers in many other areas in Indonesia, but in my understanding, these small, stand-alone workshops are owned and staffed by men who are the inheritors of the skills of the major silver working centres.

I doubt that it is possible to guess where the silver work for this keris comes from. To my eye both hilt and scabbard, considered together, appear to be Celuk work, but realistically they could have been made anywhere.
Hello Alan,

since Marius seems to be unsure from which place in Indonesia he have bought this keris I've done a little bit research by ebay and found that exactly this keris was sold from a well known dealer on Bali which you know as well so I am nearly sure that the silver work was done in Celuk.

Best regards,
Detlef
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Old 4th September 2016, 09:53 AM   #10
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Thought the same myself, Detlef:- the way that the stones in the hilt have been set, and the granulation work in the hilt, is certainly more Celuk than Kota Gede, added to this, I cannot recall having seen seen work similar to the cord being done in Jogja, however, the embossing of the scabbard looks very much like Jogja work.

But I think I've said somewhere else that I am certain that this sort of thing is not coming out of Central Jawa, if it were I am pretty sure I would have seen it, or at least heard about it --- but I can always be wrong,

There is also the fact that a lot of supposedly Celuk work is done to order in Kota Gede for galleries in Celuk, Ubud, Mas etc

The work of both hilt and scabbard is quite refined, and going on hearsay only, I doubt that work as refined as this could come out of Kotagedhang or Kendari.

All of that leaves us with highest probability of Celuk, but it is probability, not certainty, thus I prefer not to opt for a definitive statement.
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Old 4th September 2016, 11:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David
I dunno. I don't really see a Bugis blade here either. That very pronounced, brick-like gandik is not what i generally see in Bugis keris. The overall dhapur seems wrongg to me for Bugis work. However, neither does this appear to be a Bali or Maduran keris if Kerisbiz was referring to the blade only when he made his last comment.
.
Hello David,
If not Bugis/ Bugis-influenced, and not from Bali or Madura (I concur with that), what is the estimated origin or style of this blade then?
I agree with Alan that genuine Bugis blades from Sulawesi are supposed to have flat faces and gusen but from memory there are plenty of Bugis Sulawesi blades shown in the book from Ahmad Ubbé without these attributes.
Regards

Last edited by Jean; 4th September 2016 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 4th September 2016, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey

In respect of the silver work.

Kota Gede near Jogjakarta in Central Jawa is, I believe, the biggest, most experienced, most productive manufacturer of silver work in Indonesia, quality ranges from work that is second to none to quality that is pretty rough.

Celuk in Bali is probably producer number two.

The other two major silver work producing centres are Kendari in Sulawesi and Kotagadhang in Sumatra. By all accounts these two centres do not produce quality that is the equal of Kota Gede and Celuk. I have not seen work that I know to have come from either of these two places.
Hello Alan,
I own this Bugis style kris supposedly from Sumatra with a very high quality silver scabbard (very thick and finely embossed). It was purchased in Jakarta more than 20 years ago and was not brand new at that time (however the blade is much older than the scabbard and it was stained in Solo as the pamor was indistinct).
Where would you expect that the silver scabbard was made?
Regards
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Old 4th September 2016, 01:59 PM   #13
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Jean, I'm sorry, but I do not regard the work in this keris dress as being of particularly high quality. For this class of keris, it is pretty average. I apologise for my bluntness.

The embossing is good, solid, middle of the road quality, but the actual fabrication is severely lacking in attention to detail.

Please look particularly at the way that the ends of the top cross part (gambar, atasan) of the scabbard curve in to fit under the cap, and at the poor fit of the buntut to the gandar, additionally, the proportions of the gandar to the atasan are seemingly too narrow, and the hilt seems to be deficient in form, however these matters of proportion and form could be due to the angle at which the photo was taken. There is also the poor execution of the joint of atasan to gandar, it curves down, instead of being at a sharp angle.

To my eye this is Kota Gede work, but it was not made in Kota Gede, I believe it was made in a workshop in a kampung off Jln. Martodinoto a couple of kilometers out of the center of Jogja.

If I am correct, the man who did the fabrication, but not the embossing, passed to another world about 15-20 years ago. He was around 75-80 when he passed, but he was uncertain of exactly how old he was. He had been trained in Kota Gede and worked there prior to opening his own workshop.
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Old 4th September 2016, 02:37 PM   #14
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Hello Alan,
Thank you for your frank and justified opinion, and the information that the scabbard was probably made in the Yogya area; it certainly explains that the proportions of the scabbard and shape of the hilt are not ideal indeed, however I still like this kris....
Regards

Last edited by Jean; 4th September 2016 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 4th September 2016, 11:51 PM   #15
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Yes Jean, people mostly do not realise just how important and influential Ngayogjokarto is in the world of Indonesian silverwork. The area of Ngayogjokarto that is the silver working centre of the area is Kota Gede (Big Town).

Kota Gede silver work has a history going back to the establishment of the Kraton of Mataram there in the late 16th century.

I have been told, but I do not know how accurate this is, that all other silver working areas in Indonesia can be traced back to the original craftsmen coming from Kota Gede. I was told this by a man who is very highly placed in the Kota Gede hierarchy, so it would have been in his interests to claim this, but even so, it could well be true.

You would be very surprised by where some of the product of the Kota Gede craftsmen ends up, mostly the end sellers claim manufacture in other, more prestigious locations, such as -- just for example -- Florence in Italy.
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Old 5th September 2016, 01:46 PM   #16
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I've been thinking about what I wrote in my post # 8.

I think I've phrased what I said badly.

"All through S.E.Asia, in the Peninsula, Sumatra, along the North Coast of Jawa, in Lombok, in the further Eastern Islands, in scattered small islands throughout the Archipelago we can find keris blades that have the overall appearance (pawakan) of genuine Bugis blades, but that lack the flat faces and gusen of the genuine Bugis blade"

The Bugis people spread far and wide.

They carried their keris with them.

Over time the keris that were made in those places far from the Sulawesi homeland lost some of the details of the keris that were made in Sulawesi.

They were still Bugis keris, but Bugis keris made in places other than Sulawesi.

Does this make those slightly different keris any less Bugis in origin ?

Does it strip them of their Bugis heritage, so that they are no longer "Bugis"?

I rather think not.

The Bugis are a people, not a place.

Perhaps we should think of these other Bugis keris still as Bugis keris, but qualify that by adding something like:- "from a location outside Sulawesi"
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Old 6th September 2016, 10:22 PM   #17
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http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showthread.php?t=17886
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Old 6th September 2016, 11:32 PM   #18
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That hilt is the same type, but there are considerable differences in execution.

Still, Lombok might be a very good bet.

I believe that Lombok silverwork owes its existence to the Celuk tradition, and this work does look more like Celuk than Jogja in a few ways.
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