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19th C. Indonesian Steel, Wood, & Tin Kris

$695.00
Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Java, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A kris (keris), handmade, with a beautifully painted sheath. The wooden handle, terminating in a round silver guard, is carved with two abstract zoomorphic faces. The sheath is wrapped with stamped tin with a floral pattern below a dramatic, flaring painted wooden upper portion. The double-sided blade itself on this particular kris is incredible - multi-colored bands of metal. 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. Comes with modern blue velvet case. Size with sheath: 19.7" L x 7.6" W (50 cm x 19.3 cm)

Kris were worn every day and in special ceremonies; both men and women wore 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: Patina on handle from age and touch. Light wear to painted sheath surface.

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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