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Keris Tilam Upih Kulit Semangka Tangguh Majapahit pre-15th Century East Java, with 19th Century Mataram Scabbard of Timaha Wood


This particular keris has the characteristics of old tangguh sepuh blades and was probably made before the 13th-15th century golden age of Majapahit keris production. The metuk iras that is made as one with the pesi that sticks into the hilt after the ganja is characteristic to the keris made before the 13th century. The mbatok mengkureb shape of the ganja also dates to early or pre-Majapahit and is a characteristic of the works of the village Mpu as opposed to the palace Mpu. The tall gandik is also characteristic of the older generation of Java keris.

It is in good condition, apart from the thinning of the blade due to centuries of use and ritual bathing. Because of its age this kind of keris is believed to have the power to subdue the powers of younger 'bad' keris and is called a keris tindih.


The dapur of this keris is straight with a simple pronounced pejetan and tikel alis without any other ricikan making it the common but ancient Tilam Upih style. This style of keris is believed to be useful for those who make a living through speaking. Tilam Upih means the bed of spittle or the tongue.

The pamor of this keris and is laid in the mlumaht technique and appears to be of the pattern known as kulit semangka meaning watermelon skin believed to bring prosperity.


The scabbard of this keris is in the 19th century Mataram, style. It is in the gayaman style, used when the bearer is on duty or at war, as opposed to the more flamboyant ladrang style used when the bearer is a guest at ceremonies. This particular style of the gayaman scabbard is the rare and old gayaman cempaluk style, in the prised timaha pelet pulas wood.

We believe that this keris is a genuine pusaka that has been handed down through generations. Thierry Durieux collected it from an old professional keris cleaner in Yogyakarta in the 1980's. It was a long uncollected item, probably forgotten by the family that owned it as it had been in the possession of the keris cleaner for over a decade. Indostan would humbly accept a dowry of 700 for the hand in marriage of this keris as long as it will be kept lovingly as a pusaka.


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DISCLAIMER: The materials and the make dates of Asian antiques are rarely explicit on the piece. All our descriptions of use, materials, and the dates of our antiques are approximates based on our experience and knowledge. Please contact us if you have other suggestions concerning the nature and the dates of the antiques we sell. Any unsatisfactory item, if returned within 30 days, will be fully refunded excluding shipping costs.