'The Van den Bosch Keris'

An important Indonesian Keris presented to Johannes, Count van den Bosch (1780-1844), Governor-General of the former Dutch East Indies (1830 to 1833) by the Panembahan Mangkuadiningrat (1804-1842)

Madura, circa 1834

L. 48 cm (full length) / L. 36 cm (blade)

With Dutch inscriptions in gold on both sides of the blade:

‘Aan den Kommissaris Generaal van Nederlandsch Indië Johannes van den Bosch’ & ‘Den Panembahan Mangkoe Adie Ningrat den 1e January 1834’

This presentation keris was presented to the Governor-General of the former Dutch East Indies and commander of the Royal Dutch Indies
Army, Johannes van den Bosch (1780-1844). The keris was presented to him in 1834, a year after his official rule of the Dutch East Indies, by the Panebaham (Sultan) from Pamekasan (Madura, East Java) Mangku

Adieningrat VIII.

This keris is Madurese made, following heavy Balinese influence, it can be described as Keris Madura Pamekasan, which refers to a former Keraton.

The Kinata Mas (decoration) can be translated as follows:

- Dapur (shape of the blade):

Sankelat Robyong with Kinata Mas (gold decoration)

- Pamor (forging structure):
Dadung Muntir, a type of twist core forging which was made by the bladesmith (Empu) to increase authority, bravery and firmness, is shown both in the blade and guard (Ganja)

- Wrangka (scabbard mouth):
Gayaman Ladrang (shape) in precious Trembalo wood

- Pendok (scabbard sheet):
Bunton (closed), gold, unknown carat, with fine floral motifs formerly accompanied with a Bonaspati (God of the woods) mask


Oekiran (hilt):
Bebondollan (Balinese style) made of Kayu Pelet wood, considered sacred

- Mendak (hilt ferrule):
Pearled rim in gold


Comparable example:

The presentation keris of Governor-General Jean Chrétien Baud (1789-1859), the successor of Johannes van den Bosch, is held in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, inventory number NG-NM-7113.


Private collection, Germany
With Runjeet Singh ltd., London
Now with Zebregs&Röell, Amsterdam