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19th C. Indonesian Kris w/ Granulated Silver Adornment

$1,195.00
Southeast Asia, Indonesia, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A beautiful keris (kris), with a narrow, sinuously curving blade and an intricately carved handle and sheath. The grip is carved and polished wood with two anthropomorphic, abstract mask-like faces in relief. The guard is smooth, highly polished wood with a rich luster. The sheath is wood with an applied coppery metal sheet decorated with repousse vines and leaves. Granulated silver sits between the handle and the guard in a globular form that catches the eye with its elegance. The double-sided blade is made of multi-colored bands of metal. Size with sheath: 6.85" W x 18.55" H (17.4 cm x 47.1 cm)

The kris is both a weapon and a spiritual object. The oldest known are from the 10th century CE; they are thought to have originated on the island of Java. The bladesmith, called an empu, formed the blade from layers of different iron ores and meteorite nickel. In high quality ones, the metal is folded dozens or even hundreds of times. Kris were worn every day and in special ceremonies; both men and women wear them. They were passed down through families. They were used for display, as talismans with magical powers, and weapons, and as heirlooms, as accessories for ceremonial dress, and indicators of social status. Kris blades are narrow, with wide, symmetrical bases. The aesthetic value has three elements: dhapur, the shape and design of the blade, with 40 variants; pamor, the pattern of metal alloy decoration on the blade, with 120 variants; and tangguh, the age and origin of kris. In 2005, the kris became a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Condition: A few tiny chips from wood surface, otherwise in excellent condition with some matte patina on the sheath.

Provenance: private Rochester, Michigan, USA collection

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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