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Early 20th C. Indonesian Kris with Gold Decorated Blade

Regular Price: $1,495.00

Special Price $895.00

Southeast Asia, Indonesia, ca. early 20th century CE. An elegant blade made of dark bands of metal, with gold leaf in a delicate design along the top of the blade. Granulated gold and eight red garnets separate the carved wooden handle and guard. The handle has an abstract, anthropomorphic mask carved into it. The guard is large, made of a mottled light and dark wood. A repousse metal sheath decorated with low relief floral motifs wrapped around wood protects the dark blade. Size with sheath: 6.7" W x 19.6" H (17 cm x 49.8 cm); each garnet is approximately 0.25" W (0.6 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: A small, stable crack in the base of the handle. Some wear to the motifs of the sheath. Otherwise in excellent condition.

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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