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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 Mangku Adieningrat VIII (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 Z.E. den Kom(missaris) Gen(eraal) over Ned(erlandsch) Indië J(ohannes) van den Bosch’ & ‘Den Panembahan Mangkoe Adie Ningrat den 1e January 1834’.

 

This presentation keris was presented to 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 at the end of 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 is translated as follows:

Dapur (shape of the blade):

Sankelat Robyong with Kinata Mas (gold decoration)

 

Pamor (forging structure):
Dadung Muntir, a type of twistcore forging which

was made by the bladesmith (Empu) to increase

authority, bravery, and firmness, 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, now reconstructed from a similar keris

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

Mendak (hilt ferrule):
Pearled rim in gold

 
For a comparable example, see the presentation or State keris of Governor-General Jean Chretien Baud (1789-1859), the successor of Johannes van den Bosch, which is held in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (inv.no. NG-NM-7113).


Van den Bosch appreciated the gift since he purchased it, as all gifts received were immediate possession of the Dutch state. The wife of a later Governor-General, Duymaer van Twist, after her husband was presented a keris by the Soesoehan, sighed: “Fortunately enough less magnificent than his own, for those presents are regarded as gifted to the Government and when we wish to keep it, we need to purchase it for the price after valuation.
 

Provenance:
- Johannes Count van den Bosch (1780-1844), The Hague
[…]
- Art dealer/collector Hubert Marchand, Ostend
- Private collection, Germany (purchased in the 1980s)
- With Runjeet Singh ltd., London (purchased in 2022)
- Zebregs&Röell Fine Art and Antiques


Sources:
J.C. Smelik, C.M. Hogenstijn, W.J.M. Janssen, A.J. Duymaer van Twist -- Gouverneur-generaal van Nederlands-Indië (1851-1856), Deventer, 2007, p. 53 Budaya Indonesia, kunst en cultuur in Indonesië. 1987, p. 212, 280

Angelie Sens, De kolonieman: Johannes van den Bosch (1780-1844), volksverheffer in naam van de Koning, Balans Uitgeverij, Amsterdam, 2019


Johannes Graaf van den Bosch, Briefwisseling tussen J. van den Bosch en J. C. Baud: 1829-1832 en 1834-1836, Kemmink, Utrecht, 1956