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Kelantan Keris Pandai Saras
A unique provenanced example
late 19th century

Keris Kelantan Patani Blade saras pandai pamor hulu pendokok timber carved pusaka jawi provenance www.swordsantiqueweapons.com


A very special Kelantan Keris Saras with written provenance. Personal collection.

This keris is currently undergoing paper conservation to preserve the provenance. The paper will be removed and stored with the keris.
It is our intention to have the butnut replaced, minor chips on the sampir ends restored, and add some new life to the aging timbers. This will preserve this fine keris and its provenance for generations ahead.
Although not yet photographed, the cleaning/restoration of the blade and cleaning of the silver pendokok has been completed
Detailed images will be provided upon all aspects being completed.

My thanks is extended to Shahrial Tahar for facilitating the translation of the Jawi scribed paper tag, and to those who provided discussion with robust insights and translation possibilities.

I have been fortunate enough to obtain several keris over the years, each with pasted paper tags attached to the Sampir.
In this instance, the tag to the left face of the sampir is largely unreadable. It is my hope, that through proper museum cleaning and conservation that further details may come to light.
All that can currently be read on this tag is "3rd of June 1914". What this date refers to is uncertain. I suspect it was the dated it was confiscated and entered police inventory during the British colonial rule of the area.
The date may also represent a later time that it was taken from Malaysia and entered in to a British collection.

The pasted tag to the right face of the Sampir contains a short direct amount of important detail.
Through the help of colleagues and collectors, namely Mr Zaid Sulaiman, Mr Nik Nizam Nasir, Mr Azizi Che Hamid and Mr Mat Saad. The following translation has been put together.
"A keris owned by a pious person by the name of Semail/Ismail Bin Samad from Simpangan Village".
There is some conjecture about the accuracy of this with the Jawi words "This keris belong to orang salah (guilty)" also being seen within.
A perspective that can be considered if it was confiscated (likely by the local police of Tumpat), that the translation does read,
"A keris owned by a dangerous (guilty) person by the name of Semail/Ismail Bin Samad from Simpangan Village".
"Guilty" implying perhaps being guilty of carrying his Keris in public, or that he was responsible for a death with his keris.

Also of importance, as noted by Mr Zaid Sulaiman, this style of Jawi is unique to those born in the 1910-20s.
This is point I need to seek clarification about my interpretation of what has been stated, in that does the person who wrote had been educated in writing in this period or was it completed much later.
this would cloud the 1914 dates on the left.

Simpangan Village lays on the Golok River, on the Thailand Malaysian boarder, on the northern edge of the greater Tumpat Provence., approx. 5 kilometres inland from the mouth of the river, a region that remains largely rural and prone to flooding in the monsoon season.

Whilst the Pandai Saras blade type is well known within the northern Malay states and Southern Thailand regions, having these details available to collectors to study does add a great deal on insight in to the type of dress and blade found in the region circa 1900.

Returning to the tag in Jawi and the translation available, one could consider the owner a "dangerous" man in so far as the way the blade sits within the sampir.
As can be seen from the photos, on this example, the gonjo or ganga, it sits well above the sheath compared to most keris.
This feature is known as Ganja mengintai, or peeping ganja. It is an aspect that helps with a quicker draw of the keris, and is typically the sign of a very capable and experienced fighter.

To be updated further shortly

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