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Old 28th January 2023, 03:12 AM   #1
Ian
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Default Another one I've had for 20+ years

According to my notes, I acquired this keris in the late 1990s. What interested me was the karaton designation, and the sharply defined pamor which appealed at the time.There is an old tag on the back of the scabbard that says keris karaton pamekasan (?) ...


I'm interested to learn more about this one.


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Old 28th January 2023, 04:53 AM   #2
jagabuwana
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Nice keris, Ian.
If it were me, I'd take a look at the silhouette of the gonjo looking at it from top down, to see if it would support a Tuban classification.

Last edited by jagabuwana; 28th January 2023 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Brain fart
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Old 28th January 2023, 05:09 AM   #3
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Hi Ian,

Keraton Pamekasan refers to Madura court

Pamor kulit semangka = pamor watermelon skin

Tilam upe might refer to the dhapur (form) of the keris. In Java it would be called Tilam Upih. However normally dhapur Tilam Upih would have a tikel alis, which I do not see here. Without tikel alis then the dhapur would be called Brojol.
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Old 28th January 2023, 07:36 AM   #4
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Hi Ian,

I am not sure. But every time I see a straight keris with broad pamor and coarse iron like that I intuitively think of Madura. Because a lot of Madurese keris with luks have similar pamor style and iron. Or maybe we can just call it East Java to be safe - because Madura is geographically in East Java.

Last edited by rasdan; 28th January 2023 at 12:31 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 28th January 2023, 11:25 AM   #5
A. G. Maisey
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Nothing much to add to what has already been wriiten, just a few comments:-

1) I doubt that Pamekesan ever had a kraton, its status is as a Kabupaten, a regency, I'm not all that familiar with the history of Pamekasan, but I believe that it never had a Sultan, nor a Sunan, it was always under the ultimate control of Sumenep, which was a Sultanate. It might have had an Istana, ie, palace, where the Bupati (regent) lived, but if no Sultan or Sunan, it could not have had a Kraton.

2) dress is Central Jawa, Solo style

3) not tilam upih, but as YS has said, brojol

4) the "upe" spelling is perfectly understandable, a non-native speaker hearing the word could easily give it that spelling, as could a poorly educated native speaker --- I get emails frequently from several people in Solo who left school before they entered high school, and writing in both Javanese & BI their spellings sometimes do take a bit of effort to understand.

5) I'm of a like mind with Rasdan on blade origin, I would give this blade as Madura without a second though --- if I did have a second thought I might give it as East Jawa, thus including Madura, but throwing the net wider. Pamor ngulit semangko --- kulit semangka --- and a couple of other alternate spellings.

Edit

I think you might be right about Tuban Jaga, that gonjo looks very much like it could be nguceng mati.

Last edited by A. G. Maisey; 28th January 2023 at 07:05 PM. Reason: The Third Thought
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Old 28th January 2023, 02:48 PM   #6
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I don't have much to add here either, except to say that i find it to be an attractive keris. Can you show us a photo from above showing the fit to the sheath. I am curious to know if this East Jawa blade Solo sheath was made specifically for this blade. Thanks!
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Old 28th January 2023, 05:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
I don't have much to add here either, except to say that i find it to be an attractive keris. Can you show us a photo from above showing the fit to the sheath. I am curious to know if this East Jawa blade Solo sheath was made specifically for this blade. Thanks!
widening a sheath to hold a blade is easy, tightening it without adding anything is a little more difficult
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Old 29th January 2023, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcokeris View Post
widening a sheath to hold a blade is easy, tightening it without adding anything is a little more difficult
True, but from what i can see this blade's width is fairly narrow the base. If it fits perfectly in the sheath the likelihood it was made for the blade would be high i believe.
Though i personally enjoy a wrongko that has been well adapted with inserted wood to fit a smaller blade profile. It generally shows that the owner valued that sheath for some reason. I have a couple of nice wrongko like that which were refitted because they are well made from desirable wood.
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Old 30th January 2023, 07:21 AM   #9
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Thanks to all for your generous comments. Attached is a picture of the keris in its sheath, taken from above to show the fit. Best I can tell, it fits perfectly. There is no sign of any alteration, to accommodate it.


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Old 30th January 2023, 04:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for the added photo Ian. Though it is indeed possible that this sheath once belong to a smaller blade and was sized up for this one i would say it is unlikely. The sheath is obviously newer than the blade and appears to have been made specifically for it. I don't think it is at all unusual to find a Madurese blade in Javanese dress or vice versa. It is a nice keris over all.
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Old 31st January 2023, 01:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Thanks for the added photo Ian. Though it is indeed possible that this sheath once belong to a smaller blade and was sized up for this one i would say it is unlikely. ...
Thanks for that caveat David. Yes, it might have been sized up.
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Old 31st January 2023, 01:45 AM   #12
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I dug out the old sales docket for this keris in my files. It was purchased in 1999, and the docket simply says "Madurese keris and wooden sheath" and quotes information from the tag pasted to the back of the sheath.
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Old 31st January 2023, 03:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks for that caveat David. Yes, it might have been sized up.
LOL! Anything is possible Ian, but i was clearly inferring that i didn't think that was the case.
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Old 31st January 2023, 10:04 AM   #14
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Thank you for the additional photo, Ian.
I believe that this is a pretty clear cut example of a Tuban gonjo.
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Old 31st January 2023, 10:06 PM   #15
A. G. Maisey
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Yes Jaga, stylistically this gonjo is a good example of a Tuban keris that retains the original gonjo form.

This form is often presented as nguceng mati (dead fish) which from above is straight sided with the buntut urang being sharply pointed, this sharp point has been caused by erosion over time, the original shape is still straight sided, but the buntut urang is cutoff short, resulting in a gonjo shorter than most other gonjos, and a very narrow buntut urang.

From the side, a Tuban gonjo should be rather thick, and the gonjo on this keris is rather thick.

Where this keris appears to fail a Tuban classification is in the nature of the pamor, I say "appears" because I cannot feel texture from a photo. If a Tuban keris has ngulit semongko pamor, that pamor should be smooth to the touch, the pamor on this keris appears to have a rough texture, and that, plus the other things we can see in a photo, puts it into the Madura box.

But I guess we could still consider a Tuban classification. It is as I think we all understand:- there are limitations to what we can do with a photo, anything relatively positive can only come with the keris in hand.
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Old 4th February 2023, 08:10 AM   #16
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Alan,

I think the texture looks rougher than it actually is because I used some photoshopping to sharpen the close-up pictures—you can see the threads of the cloth in the background of some of some of the images. As I rub my fingers over it, there is a "graininess" to the texture, equivalent to perhaps a 600 or 800 grit sandpaper. Definitely not as smooth as a 1500 grit paper. Does that help at all?

Last edited by Ian; 4th February 2023 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 5th February 2023, 06:48 PM   #17
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Ian, if you can feel texture, then, it is not smooth.

In fact the textbook Tuban feeling is slightly slippery, but really, we do need the blade in hand to give any sort of supportable classification, the idea that we can do much more than just a preliminary assessment from an image on a screen is incorrect.
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Old 7th February 2023, 01:11 AM   #18
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Alan, thank you for the information on the Tuban indicators.

Is the smooth pamor indicator one that also belongs to the Tuban subclassificafions like Tuban Mataram, Pajajaran etc.?
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Old 7th February 2023, 08:41 PM   #19
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I cannot give a definitive answer to this question, Jaga.

My notes only mention this smooth feeling for Tuban-Tuban, they do not mention the slippery feel, but I have noted the slippery feel in more than a few Tuban-Tuban keris.

My notes do not mention a smooth feel to pamor for other Tuban sub-classifications, & I have not really noted it --- what I mean is that in some cases there might have been a slippery feel, & in other cases not, but in any case it was insufficient for me to take particular note.

The other classification that comes readily to mind for slippery feel is Gresik, the belief was that Gresik used Dutch coins for pamor construction.
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Old 8th February 2023, 03:27 AM   #20
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Thank you, Alan.
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