Balinese keris
Overall length

Sheathed 57.5 cm

Keris 54 cm

Blade length

43 cm

Blade width

Ganja 90 mm

Base 62.5 mm

Wide middle 23 mm

5 cm from tip 12 mm

Blade thickness

Ganja 14 mm

Base 12.5 mm

Wide middle 5 mm

5 cm from tip 3 mm

Weight without scabbard

307 grams

Point of balance

7 cm from base

Materials

Iron, steel, wood (timaha), copper, glass beads

Origin

Bali, Indonesia

Dating

19th century, blade possibly earlier

Provenance

European antique art market

Price €350, -

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Description

A good old Balinese keris. The blade overall shape, dapur, with stylized elephant trunk and a straight, leaf shaped blade. The blade's pattern, pamor, is a straigt-ish, wood-like structure. The blade's base is beautifully sculpted with high ridges and deep grooves.

The blade has, fortunately, not been subject to the aggressive etching that is destroying so many keris these days. I urge a new owner to not have it "washed", this process used to be very sublte but today often very harsh acids are used that are not properly neutralized.

 

Hilt & scabbard

It comes with a wooden hulu (hilt) of typical Balinese form. It is made of timaha wood (Kleinhovia hospita L), from a tree locally called purnama sadha in Bali. It is characterized by beautiful dark brown stains called pelet, an effect called caused by a fungal growth in the wood. This particular wood was highly prized in Indonesia for keris handles and scabbards and was believed to be possessed by a spirit who shows its presence through the dark brown patterns.

The sarungan (scabbard) has an axe-shaped wranka (large mouthpiece) of the same timaha wood. The slender part, called sarung, has timaha wood on one side and lacquered wood on the other. The end of the scabbard was broken at some point, repaired with rattan and cord.

 

Condition

Blade is somewhat worn. Scabbard end is repaired with rattan and cord, the cord appears later.

 

Conclusion

An old Balinese keris, originally of pretty good workmanship and with good quality materials. Now worn, but in a charming way. It managed to escape modern etching trends, retaining a much more subtle, smoother blade finish.

Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris
Balinese keris

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