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Old 8th April 2017, 09:21 AM   #1
Gavin Nugent
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Default A composite mystery to me.

I've had this Keris sitting around here for a while now, and for me, it is a mystery.

The hilt has some age to it, the silver cup, only partially remains.
The dress is modern, the blade a mystery to me.

Can any, more learned collectors, shed some light on to it?
With thanks

Gavin
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Old 9th April 2017, 11:27 PM   #2
kai
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Hello Gavin,

I can't help much with this piece I'm afraid...

The gandar of the scabbard may be a more recent replacement; the reminder seems to have some age.

The blade looks weird - maybe ceremonial/talismanic? Certainly closer to the sajen category than being a "real" keris IMVHO...

I'm also sceptical about the selut - does not look like Madura to me...

Can you tell what is engraved into the blade? You can fill the lines with toothpaste and gently clean the surface after it dried - this should help to grasp the whole picture!

Regards,
Kai
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Old 11th April 2017, 02:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for your thoughts Kai.

I like the toothpaste idea, The deep crevasses in the surfaces might hinder the process but I'll give it a go when time allows.

I too thought there might be some ceremonial aspect to this blade but its so bizarre and so left of field to my interests, I just don't know where to start with understanding it...I do love a good mystery.

Gavin
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Old 11th April 2017, 03:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kai
The blade looks weird - maybe ceremonial/talismanic? Certainly closer to the sajen category than being a "real" keris IMVHO...
Well, IMVHO there is no maybe or might about it...the intention of this blade seem to be talismanic without much doubt in my mind. I wouldn't exactly call this a keris sajen, but it falls towards that category for sure. However, i have never considered sajen to not be "real" keris.
I suspect that the feature on the back edge of the blade might represent a head-dressed Garuda. I assume the metal attached there is gold.
I agree with Kai that it would be great to get a clearer look at the designs incised into the blade had his toothpaste idea sounds like a great way to do it. I'd be very interested to get a better look at that.
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Old 12th April 2017, 12:10 AM   #5
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I've had a bit of a play in Photoshop with one of Gavin's images, I will not publish it because of his obvious desire that his images should be his personal property.

I have had reasonable success in improving the clarity of the image, and based upon what I believe I can now see, I am reasonably confident that the markings on the blade are not purely decorative, however if they are intended to be talismanic I feel that only the person who put them there might be the only person who would have understood their intent. This is not unusual with any talismanic object:- if only the owner understands the purpose of the talisman, power cannot be drained from that talisman.

Similarly with the thing on the back edge of the blade, I cannot relate this form to anything I have previously seen.

So, talismanic?

Possibly.

If not, then a change made to a pretty ugly keris in order to make it saleable. This is very, very common and has resulted in the presence of objects in major, well known and sometimes published, collections.
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Old 12th April 2017, 08:03 AM   #6
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Gents, thank you for your thoughts and input.

David, I too thought that "might" be Garuda, the same feeling I have about this Sumatran Kerambit sheath below. As for the eye, not yet tested but seems to have some content to it.

I seem to recall something similar seen in a Balinese funeral process, but alas my external hard drive is playing up...

Alan, if you feel the community can benefit from your photo shop work, please, by all means, feel free to drop it in here...I'm out of the loop here until after Easter.

Gavin
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Old 12th April 2017, 01:20 PM   #7
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Sorry Gavin, I've already got rid of it, but all I did was a bit of light and contrast adjustment + curves + the unsharp mask. It did make it a little easier to see the entire picture.
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Old 12th April 2017, 03:39 PM   #8
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Now a novice's oppinion:

The blade appears to be very old and the engravings don't add too much to the "commercial" aspect of the blade.

So, my guess is they are talismanic.

PS: I said that the blade APPEARS to be very old because I believe with this type of blades it is rather easy to age them and make them look ancient.

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Old 12th April 2017, 10:03 PM   #9
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Marius, it is not difficult to create a textured surface on a new blade, but it is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible to create an entire blade that can pass as something from a much earlier time.

The appearance of Gavin's blade is, to my eye, representative of something that pre-dates any recent or current practices used in the false aging of a blade.

In other words it is in my opinion old, "old" in this case meaning pre-mid 19th century, and I'm being rather conservative here.
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Old 12th April 2017, 10:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
Marius, it is not difficult to create a textured surface on a new blade, but it is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible to create an entire blade that can pass as something from a much earlier time.

The appearance of Gavin's blade is, to my eye, representative of something that pre-dates any recent or current practices used in the false aging of a blade.

In other words it is in my opinion old, "old" in this case meaning pre-mid 19th century, and I'm being rather conservative here.
My oppinion too, but I was too unsure to make a bolder statement.
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Old 25th June 2022, 01:29 PM   #11
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Alan,

Would/could this be a Keris Sombro? Or is this a catch phrase thrown around where these small talismanic keris are concerned?

With thanks

Gavin



Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
I've had a bit of a play in Photoshop with one of Gavin's images, I will not publish it because of his obvious desire that his images should be his personal property.

I have had reasonable success in improving the clarity of the image, and based upon what I believe I can now see, I am reasonably confident that the markings on the blade are not purely decorative, however if they are intended to be talismanic I feel that only the person who put them there might be the only person who would have understood their intent. This is not unusual with any talismanic object:- if only the owner understands the purpose of the talisman, power cannot be drained from that talisman.

Similarly with the thing on the back edge of the blade, I cannot relate this form to anything I have previously seen.

So, talismanic?

Possibly.

If not, then a change made to a pretty ugly keris in order to make it saleable. This is very, very common and has resulted in the presence of objects in major, well known and sometimes published, collections.
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Old 25th June 2022, 10:34 PM   #12
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No Gavin.

Here is a link to an old thread:-

http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ghlight=sombro

Post 28 has some good examples of Sombros.

They are small,light, thin, gonjo iras, but the defining feature is the hole in the end of the pesi, the story is that after Empu Sombro ( a lady) had made a quantity of these little blades she would thread them onto a piece of twine and walk from place to place selling them, to remove from the twine after sale the eye that accommodated the thread was broken.

The probable reality is that these little keris were talismanic, the eye was used for suspension within a house, or around the neck, over time the eye eroded and broke open.

Skimming through previous posts it looks like we failed to adequately address the fittings:-

wrongko awak-awakan (gambar, sampir,top,main part) Madura udang-udangan, wrongko gandar a replacement, hilt Madura/East Jawa sandang walikat, selut probably North Coast Jawa.
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Old 25th June 2022, 11:45 PM   #13
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Thank you Alan.

The first four points you note are what led me down this path, it is all those things... but no ring end to the pesi.

The pesi does have these recesses that look more to be formed than eroded over time.

Some better photos to show the overall size in relation to the keys on a standard keyboard.

It does have a knife like form which reminds me of a more demure version of the knives used in Balinese funeral ceremonies.

I have read, but written without substance or proper reference, that such things like this little example, could have been used in childbirth as a magical ward and to the cut umbilical cords.

Gavin
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Old 26th June 2022, 01:14 AM   #14
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Understood, but Sombros do not have this form.

In fact, there is more than a little confusion about Sombros, even in Ensiklopedi the picture is wrong.

They are thin, thin as a piece of paper, they MUST have the hole in the end of the pesi, or at least the remnant of the broken hole, they do not have strange lumps sticking out from them, technically, the dhapur is brojol. The material from which Sombros are made is usually very select material, although paper thin, the material is dense and tightly forged, what we call "padat". The material in this keris is very hot short material, look at all the cracks in it, this is very poor, probably uncleaned, material. My guess is that the material itself had some esoteric value for the person who forged, or had forged, the blade, so the quality of the material was secondary to its esoteric value.

The childbirth thing with Sombros is that when a woman is about to give birth the keris is placed under her bed, or if just a mattress or tikar on the floor, under that, and the presence of the keris helps an easy birth.

Using the keris, any keris, to cut the umbilical cord is not general, in fact I have never heard of it. Keris are not really intended to cut, and are not regarded in a similar way to any kind of knife.

A lot of the comment we read about keris in both published hardcopy, and on the net is pure invention, imagination, and that invention has multiplied beyond all reason since the advent of the net.

If somebody tells us something about keris, we should always ask who their teachers were. How & where did they learn this previously unknown information.

Info from Kyai Susesewong who visits in dreams on Kamis Legi is just not good enough.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 26th June 2022 at 01:24 AM.
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