A luxury Palembang Keris with gold - On hold
A typical Palembang keris from Sumatra, a very exclusive state example with heavy blade in typical Sumatran Ladrang style with suasa pendok.
Deeply carved ukiran with suasa and diamond mendak. Excellent heavy wilah with gold decorated ganja.
Palembang, Sumatra – early 19th century.
Materials: Gold, Suasa, Steel, Iron, Hippopotamus ivory (Hippopotamus amphibius)
Made before 1947. Comes with registred certificate, conform CITES law in the Netherlands. Custom rules apply outside Europe.
The keris is one of the most Iconic weapons of the Indonesian archipel. Besides hundreds of years of heritage, it is also known in local religion to posses mythical powers.
The keris is not made for every man. The ‘Empu’ (bladesmith) forges the blade to identify its future owner. Aspects such as leadership, wealth, luck or capability of dealing with bad spirits are a few examples.
This example has it’s origin on Palembang, South Sumatra. This keris was made for a leader, of high social class. The finely carved hippo-ivory hilt and thick well made blade and pamor indicate the importance of the owner.
The Ukiran (handle):
Carved deeply out of hippo ivory, depicting a fine pattern of flowers,foliage and scrolls. The shape of the hilt is an antropomorphic creature called ‘Garuda’ or ‘Jawa Demam’. These hilt are one of the best State-class hilts found in the palembag area. It is fitted on a suasa mendak filled with rough diamonds.
The Wilah (blade):
The blade of this example is very fierce and thick, absolute masterpiece of the ‘Empu’ (Blacksmith). The shape is straight and is sharpened on both sides. The forte of the blade has a complex forged design looping in to a central ridge towards the tip. The ‘ganja’ (guard) is decorated with a sheet of gold which is finely embossed in floral scroll patterns. The pamor is called ‘Keleng’ and ‘Segara Muncar’ a very interesting type with a very sought after ‘Dapur’ (shape). The wilah is made of very good quality steel.
Rare ship made of walnut or palisander and in typical Sumatran shape. The scabbard is decorated with a suasa sheet.
Conclusion: A rare keris once owned by an important man from the Palembang area. Hence the noble materials used and quality of decoration and material. Examples like these are very scarce on the market since most of these are in private collections and museums.
Provenance: Dutch private collection.
Condition: Good, there are some dents in the suasa pendok due to age and use. The ivory hilt has a tiny frit as can be seen on photo. The gold topping on the ganja is not running enirely through. One stone is missing. Further hilt and blade in excellent condition. The blade fits perfectly in the scabbard.
Ukiran including mendak: 8.4cm
Total length: 49cm
Weight: 578 gram.
Important note: Made before 1947. Comes with registred certificate, conform CITES law in the Netherlands. Custom rules apply outside Europe.
Copyright by Peter Andeweg – 2020
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