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20th C. Indonesian Kris w/ Wood Sheath & Handle

$495.00
Southeast Asia, Indonesia, ca. mid 20th century CE. With a handle of smooth, light wood, and a blade made from layers of different iron ores and meteorite nickel, this is a pretty example of a short-bladed kris. The handle is smooth and angular, matching the form of the sheath, which has very light flourishes. The blade itself has a low ridge down its center, and two narrow gutters near the top, one on each side. Size in sheath: 4.5" W x 16" H (11.4 cm x 40.6 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: Excellent condition. Blade has only been sharpened once.

Provenance: private Rochester, Michigan, USA collection

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