Madura, Java – 19th century
Materials: Iron, Nickel, Brass,Wood (Pelet)
An unusual large keris from Madura, East-Java with a rare double faced pamor. The blade ‘dapur‘ (shape) is straight and represents a resting Naga. The keris is typically Madurese made, but could be worn by a soldier who fought for the Balinese. The scabbard is in typical Balinese style, but the hilt and blade suggest obviously Java.
The hilt (ukiran):
Of Javanese form, representing a, according to Isaac Groneman, ‘Tunggaksemi‘ (young tree trunk) a variety on the ‘Panakawan‘ (servant-clown). The hilt is made of Pelet wood, which shows dark spots caused by a fungus and is believed to process magical powers by the Javanese. This form of ‘Ukiran’ is often seen on Surakarta, yet the old collection number on both scabbard and hilt shows that this combination is respectively old. Sadly no further provenance was further known on this collection number. The mendak is made of brass and has a pearl-rim with a slender end.
The blade (wilah):
The blade is of straight form and unusually large for a Madurese blade, but likely influenced by Balinese blade, which tend to be longer in general. The blade shows two types of pamor: The traditional ‘Adeg’ pamor which is laminated with the addition of nickel. The b-side seems to be a combination of ‘Mayang Mekar‘ (Aren palm leaves) and ‘Unthuk Banyu‘ (Sparkling water) a rare form of pamor which is mostly seen in Madura, especially during the Mataram period. This example dates from after the Mataram period, most likely the 19th century when many Madurese keris were influenced by Balinese keris.
Condition: Excellent, some very minor ware due to age and use. No repairs or damages.
Provenance: A Dutch private collection
Hilt: 11.6cm, including mendak.
Blade length: 49.2cm
Blade ganja thickness: 13mm
Total length: 60.8cm
Sources: Isaäc Groneman ‘The Javanese keris’
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