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Old 27th November 2021, 01:59 AM   #1
Conduit
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Default Keris to ID

Hello,

Would you please help me to ID this keris. It is clearly of high quality but I would like to know more about it.

One opinion I had is that it comes from Maduro island in Indonesia.

Many thanks for your help.
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Old 28th November 2021, 03:25 AM   #2
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Yes, this is a well made keris and the blade and hilt are indeed East Jawa/Madura in origin. I am less convinced that the gayaman style sheath is Madurese though. Does the blade fit perfectly into the sheath?
I believe the pamor might be Ujung gunung, but better photos would help a more definite assessment.
The ivory donoriko hilt has a depiction of the mythical winged horse Si Mega. According to a legend this mount belonged to one of the most powerful rulers of Sumenep called Joko tolè or Kiai Kuda Panulè. He rode this horse when he was at war with a prince from India who had a flying ship as a mount.
BTW, the hilt is facing backwards and should be turned 180 degrees.
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Old 28th November 2021, 06:14 AM   #3
A. G. Maisey
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David, in the original photo it does look like Madura, but I've re-orientated the image and cropped down so we can see the gandhik and blumbangan in a more easily understood position.

Personally, I would give this keris as Mataram, I cannot give a sub-division of Mataram from the image.


Yes, the adeg lines do come to a point, but I think I'd like to look at it in the hand before I'd give it as ujung gunung.

The wrongko is Solo, the pendok has been engraved.

It is a class keris.

My preference would be to fit a good quality planar hilt and a quality mendak, and keep the present Madura hilt as a cabinet piece.
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Old 28th November 2021, 12:06 PM   #4
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In my previous post the keris was about 2 degrees slanted to the left, and it did not have the position I wanted, sorry, I was working on a gimpy little laptop with a very bad screen, I think this image is better.
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Old 28th November 2021, 04:04 PM   #5
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Thank you very much, gentlemen, for your input. I really appreciate it.
My apologies for the images, they are inconvenient to review but this is the way how forum turns them upside down when uploaded.
I will wait for a sunny day to make and add extra images of the blade and the scabbard fit for the further comments.
Hilt is affixed well I would not like to force turn it.
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Old 28th November 2021, 09:25 PM   #6
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I have been asked the reason why I do like this keris as Madura, so I will clarify a little.

First, it is best to understand that if I had this keris in my hand my opinion could be different to the opinion I can give from a flat image on a flat computer screen:- all that can be seen in any photo is just one face of the keris, we cannot feel the surface, we cannot adequately judge the material, we cannot see what the gandhik looks like from the front, we cannot see what the gonjo looks like from the top.

There a lot that we cannot know about a keris if all we have to form an opinion on is a photograph.

It is a bit like looking at a photo of a man and asking what his personality & character are like and what language or accent he speaks with.

So when we look at a photo we need to form an opinion based on only a couple of dominant characteristics.

Overall, this keris does have a tendency towards some Madura characteristics:- the distance from the last luk to the point is rather long, the pamor motif is common in older Madura keris, there is no ada-ada, the kembang kacang is thin and whispy. The blade cross section looks like rotan, no kruwingan .

Yeah, it does look a bit Maduraish.

But the gandhik has no inwards leaning angle at all, something that cannot be clearly seen until the orientation of the blade has been changed, the pawakan of the keris is not typical Madura, older Madura blades are stiff, too upright, this blade has a nice, gentle forward lean, again, something that cannot be seen until it has been viewed in the correct position for appraisal. The blumbangan is not shallow, and it is clearly defined, the gandhik edge is sharp and clear, moreover the keris has a tikel alis, and that is clearly defined where it meets the blumbangan. All of this is not at all typical of a Madura keris.

Then we get to the gonjo. This gonjo looks as if it is original, it does not look like a replacement. Older Madura keris have a straight, stiff gonjo, but this gonjo is nicely curved. I'd like to see the top of the gonjo, but just looking at the side profile there is no way this gonjo would sit well in a typical Madura wrongko. The keris is shown with a Solo wrongko, and that wrongko looks to be perfectly normal, perfectly according to correct form, if this keris sits well in the wrongko, it cannot be Madura.

I have given this keris as Mataram, by this I mean that stylistically it fits better in Mataram than in Madura. I do not mean it is Senopati, nor is it Sultan Agungan. It is to me, generic Mataram, probably from somewhere towards the North Coast, or towards East Jawa, but it is not stylistically Madura.

This is an opinion, and twenty other people might have twenty other different opinions. That is why we call this game "tangguh" = "opinion".
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Old 28th November 2021, 10:31 PM   #7
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Thanks Alan. I don't generally consider myself very astute at assessing tangguh on keris, so i certainly am willing to defer to you on this one. You are correct that i at first went with old Madura for all the Madura-is characteristics you mention. And you are also correct that the orientation of the photos as originally posted gave the impression of a more inwardly slanting gandik which was a bit misleading. Your re-positioning of the photo shows a better perspective and this is a good case to point to when discussing the importance of proper perspective and positioning of the blade when photographing keris if one is to make the best possible assessment based solely on photographs.
You are also correct that my thought about the pamor was indeed based the lines coming to concentric points at the end of the blade, which we don't generally see on standard pamor adeg. But i do agree, as stated, that better photos, or better yet, in hand, would be needed for a more definitive answer.
If indeed this is the case then i also agree that a nice planar hilt would be the way to go and the donoriko hilt could either be i nice display piece or serve a more appropriate keris in the future.
As always, thanks for your insight and keen eye.
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Old 28th November 2021, 11:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conduit View Post
Thank you very much, gentlemen, for your input. I really appreciate it.
My apologies for the images, they are inconvenient to review but this is the way how forum turns them upside down when uploaded.
I will wait for a sunny day to make and add extra images of the blade and the scabbard fit for the further comments.
Hilt is affixed well I would not like to force turn it.
I am a bit confused. AFAIK the site mechanize does not reorient images when you upload. So i don't know how they would have been turned in a direction that they were not originally in.
It's a shame the hilt seems fixed. Sometime uninformed collectors will use epoxy or some other substance to fix hilts in place. That is always a troublesome thing, especially when they orient the hilt incorrectly. But usually this can be solved by applying heat gently to the base of the blade. If indeed this keris is not Madurese, as it now appears, the hilt is incorrect anyway and the overall ensemble would benefit from changing it to a nice planar hilt. So you would want to remove this hilt completely if that were the case. If you follow that course Mr. Maisey can probably advise better than i on your approach. You certainly don't want to damage this hilt as it is a valuable one and ivory can crack and break even easier than wood.
I have attached an image of a more correct style of hilt for this keris.
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Old 28th November 2021, 11:55 PM   #9
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Conduit --- even if a hilt is fixed with Super Strength Araldite, it can still be removed with heat and patience.

I'm pretty sure i have detailed at length how to go about this, and other people have commented also, so a bit of time looking at old threads might be of assistance.

I can see something in between the mendak and the bottom of the hilt, can you tell us what it is?

The cracking in the hilt might be due to expansion of the pesi caused by rust, and if that is the case pure brute strength is going to cost you that hilt, but localised heating of the sorsoran directly below the pesi and repeated gentle attempts at turning & pulling the hilt will usually cause the hilt to loosen, I like to put the blade in a bench vice for this, make sure to use newspaper around the blade to pad & protect it before clamping into a vice, alloy jaw liners too, if you have them. Put it in the vice sideways, not vertical. I use a gentle propane flame for heat. If you have a hot air blower that can give a small, localised patch of heat, that is good too.

If the pesi is rusted and expanding, it will only get worse, so it is best to get that hilt off and then do whatever repairs are necessary. This is a pretty decent keris, it is worth the effort to preserve it.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 29th November 2021 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 11th December 2021, 12:05 PM   #10
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Thank you, gentlemen, for your useful and informative discussion and advice.
I have managed to turn the hilt and made extra images of the blade and its fit to the scabbard. Scabbard appears to be authentic to this blade.
Your comments are most welcome.
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