If you notice, the Keris For Sale box is missing on the sidebar. There's a very good reason for this. The keris now belongs to me.
The keris, named Al-Bahr was presented to me by Ustaz Saiful Muhammad of Silat Telapak Nusantara Malaysia as a gift. I say gift because the dowry which took its place in his hands is too measly a sum to compare.
We don't know much about the keris except that the hulu and sarung are made of buffalo bone and bears a striking resemblance to ivory. I intend to have it inspected by several keris experts to determine its type and age.
In the meantime, I invite anyone reading this blog to contribute their knowledge of the design and if they have ever seen it before, to provide some historical background to the weapon. It's exciting for me, because, although some people might never believe it, it is actually my first keris. I've never owned one before this.
So, welcome Al-Bahr, to our humble home.
Update 5 Feb 2009
I spoke to the previous owner, Ustaz Saiful and he told me that the keris is approximately 30 years old and was made by an empu in Johor of Bugis descent. The name Al-Bahr was given by Ustaz Saiful to commemorate the keris's elegant make.
I sent a photo fo Al-Bahr to a keris collector friend, Fazli Ibrahim. He gave his first impressions that the keris isn't very old and the blade has been blackened by warangan (In fact, ustaz has been using his own homemade keris oil on it). As with Pok Nik's assertion, Fazli determined that it was a keris Melayu with heavy Madura influences.
Listening to these opinions has made me realise uniqueness of the blade and the sheath, of which I (nor anyone else I have met) have never seen before. This makes this keris one of a kind.
I recently introduced the keris to the public in Melaka when I performed a Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 wardance for PETRONAS staff attending a team building program. As luck would have it, one of them immediately recognised the form as Lok 9.