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Old 1st January 2022, 07:31 PM   #1
Sajen
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Default Moro kris or Indonesian keris?

Happy New Year dear members!

This kris was sold recently by a German auction house, I was outbid, sadly.
I am scratching my head about the origin of this kris, scabbard and hilt looks like Moro fittings but the blade looks like an Indonesian keris.
Any thoughts? It is 47 cm long, stated the auction house.
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Old 1st January 2022, 08:21 PM   #2
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For me the blade and the top of the hilt is Indonesian, the scabard, "selut" and the base of the hilt is Moro.
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Old 1st January 2022, 09:27 PM   #3
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A mix of styles between a large keris and the Malay/Moro kris. The wide long luk suggest the Malay/Moro style, which goes with the scabbard. Perhaps a transitional piece, in which case it must have considerable age because the Malay/Moro kris was reported by early Spanish colonists in the Philippines.


Very interesting sword. Thanks for posting it Detlef.
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Old 1st January 2022, 09:54 PM   #4
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Hi SÚverin and Ian,

Thank you both for your comment. I am with Ian, I guess that it is an early Moro kris. Like Ian wrote are the wide long luks are the give away but was very unsure. I was very disappointed to get outbid by another bidder.
But I want to show it here because I think that it's a very interesting item.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 1st January 2022, 10:31 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting this piece, Detlef!

To me the blade looks like a North coast blade from Java (also the size seems not unusual); the mendak and selut would fit well with such an origin, too. I can't see enough of the rather crude hilt for suggesting an origin - despite some age, it may be a later replacement.

The scabbard construction is typical Sulu style; it is not unheard of that some later Java blades traveled into Moroland and got incorporated into the local culture though. Especially some intermediate keris from Borneo exhibit trade blades from Java (or of possibly Java/Madura/Bugis-influenced local manufacture).

Some of the blade features are not consistent with Moro preferences. There is quite a bit of wear indicating some age - nothing close to predating the evolution of the Moro kris though (IMVHO). The blade does not have the typical taluseko style which would make local manufacture a bit more likely.

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Kai
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Old 2nd January 2022, 02:06 AM   #6
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Sajen, Kai, Athanase:

I think we are all acknowledging a combination of styles with this piece and its scabbard. There seems general agreement that the scabbard is of Malay/Sulu manufacture, and is not consistent with a Javanese origin. The hilt is also somewhat atypical for a keris.

The blade has produced more diverse opinions. Some of us see keris, others see an early or precursor Malay/Moro kris. Perhaps both views are correct! Does it look like some keris? Yes. Does it look like an early prototype of Moro kris? Possibly.

It is widely believed that the Moro kris was derived from the Indonesian keris. Personally, I can see how a keris, such as the one shown here by Detlef, could be the basis for an archaic form of the Moro kris, which tended to be shorter (about 18 to 20 in. overall) than later versions.

I think Kai is correct when he says that this particular example may not be old enough to represent an actual transition form from keris to kris. However, something like it might well have been.
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Old 2nd January 2022, 04:25 AM   #7
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If I ignore the dress, what I believe I can see is a Javanese keris, North Coast, tending to the west.

To my mind, nothing at all unusual in this.

Majapahit was trading weapons all over SE Asia, and as far west as Sri Lanka, Tuban on the North Coast of Jawa was a port renowned as a supplier of weapons, but waved blades that display Tuban characteristics are very rare.

The straight gonjo is what causes me to think more to west, but along the north coast.

Possibly Cirebon to Banten.

There is a type of keris that comes from Brunei that looks a bit like this, but this one under discussion does not seem to be sufficiently refined to be one of these Brunei blades.
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Old 2nd January 2022, 09:30 AM   #8
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Hello Kai, Ian and Alan,

Thank you all for your comments! So it seems that it is a West Javanese blade which found its way to the Philippines and got redressed there.
The first one I've seen until now! My disappointment that I wasn't the winner grow!

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 2nd January 2022, 09:42 AM   #9
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BTW, here was shown some time ago kris with figural handles which remind me of the handle from this piece but I can't find it.
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Old 3rd January 2022, 09:21 PM   #10
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I believe this auction was won by a member here. I will see if I can get them to join the discussion.
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Old 4th January 2022, 07:22 AM   #11
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Hi all,

I am the guilty one of snatching this keris from Detlef.
I agree that the blade is Javanese and the sheath is Moro.
The hilt is of the old half Jawa Demam-variation that is now and then found on kris swords from North Borneo and, even more rare, from very early collected kris from the Philippines.
My hunch is that his ensemble is a Javanese trade blade that was redressed in North Borneo.
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Old 4th January 2022, 09:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV View Post
I am the guilty one of snatching this keris from Detlef.
Hello Michael,

I don't hold a grudge! Good that it went to the correct hands.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV View Post
I agree that the blade is Javanese and the sheath is Moro.
The hilt is of the old half Jawa Demam-variation that is now and then found on kris swords from North Borneo and, even more rare, from very early collected kris from the Philippines.
Thank you. Like said, somewhere is a thread where this hilt form is pictured in some examples, sadly I can't find it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV View Post
My hunch is that his ensemble is a Javanese trade blade that was redressed in North Borneo.
Agree with you. Are you planning to restore the blade?

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 4th January 2022, 10:44 PM   #13
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Thanks,

No, I will not restore the blade or scabbard.
I can't find the old thread either but we both know what this hilt variation looks like. Here is one from Sejr Jensen's Kris Disk.
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Old 8th January 2022, 02:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV View Post
No, I will not restore the blade or scabbard.
I can't find the old thread either but we both know what this hilt variation looks like. Here is one from Sejr Jensen's Kris Disk.
Yes, Michael, this is the style I was looking for.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 20th April 2022, 09:09 AM   #15
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I recently acquired a kalis with what looks like an indomalay ivory hilt, but the carved patten looks Bangsamoro.
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