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Thread: A Request for Keris Information

  1. #1

    A Request for Keris Information

    Greetings to all. I am very new to the keris - I had never even heard of them until I went to a flea market where one of the vendors had two keris. I bought them and then began to learn all I can about them. I have found that there is so much to learn and that it's history and origins are quite fascinating. I have since come into possession of a third and better keris.

    Here is my request: I have made a web page with pictures of my keris, could one of the experts here give me some information. I have figured that one is very old due to the thinness of the blade, though it seem to have no pamor.

    The one that is very rough is puzzling. Why is it so rough? I do detect the possibility of a line of nickel running down the center, but other than that, I can see no indication of a pamor.

    The one that is listed first, I have no observations. Is the pamor "watermelon skin"?

    Here is the web site:

    Thank you so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Welcome to the wonderful world of keris collection Dan. Be forewarned. I used to have just a couple of keris as well. Now i have well over 60!
    I am afraid that there is far too much to know about keris for anyone here to rightfully call themselves an "expert". I've been collecting them for almost 30 years and still feel like i am at the bottom of the mountain despite all my books and research. The entire study is also filled with all kinds of misconceptions, based on legends and misunderstandings that have been passed along from one writer to another over the years. So i suggest that you take all information you find with a grain of salt. Question everything.
    The first one in your gallery is certainly your best example. Looks late 19th century Javanese. It might well be what is termed "watermelon skin" pamor, but also seems to have something called batu lapak at the very base of the blade (semi-circle pamor pattern).
    Your second blade might be rough simply due to many years of traditional acid washings with warangan (lime and arsenic), but it also seems to have received some bad treatment at some point in time to escalate the deterioration. Not all blades have pamor. Some blade also lose a great deal of recognizable pamor after many years of acid washing. This one also looks Javanese. The dress is pretty low grade.
    The third blade could be Javanese also or perhaps from Madura, based on the dress. This one has certainly been degraded from acid washings and looks a bit fragile.
    A good start for a collection if you didn't break your bank for them. None of them are of a very high quality, but they all seem to be genuine antiques. The level of quality in these weapons has a amazing range from the most rudimentary village work to the extreme high art of royal court pieces. These are definitely on the low end of that scale, but still collectable IMHO.

  3. #3

    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my request. You have helped me get an idea of what I have.

    From prices I've seen, I didn't spend much on my blades and I knew there was nothing special about them. But, as a novice, I am excited to have them in my possession.

    Question everything. In my short time of reading, etc., I have seen some contradictory information and was beginning to think that, indeed, I needed to not take everything as gospel. But, for me, that's part of the allure.

    I hope to add to my collection very soon. I'm looking at a keris from the region of Bugis Riau Lingga. Again, nothing terribly special, but within my price range.

    Would you mind if I used some of your wording to describe the images on that page? I will gladly attribute the explanations to you.

    Thanks again! I will be hanging around here when I can and I hope to speak with you again.


  4. #4
    Sure Dan, you can use my words, though i don't think i wrote anything too definitive. No attribution necessary, thanks.

  5. #5
    Well David, maybe nothing definitive, but certainly a lot more information than I had before! I'd like to at least have something there so folks can have an idea of what it is. Thanks again!

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