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Indonesian Iron, Wood, & Copper Kris, ca. 1940s

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Southeast Asia, Indonesia, ca. 1940s CE. A striking example of an Indonesian kris (keris) used in ceremonial events with a hand-carved wooden sheath and handle colored with a dark, espresso-hued pigment. The iron blade has a serpentine presentation with a projecting blade guard, a bifurcated midrib along the upper shoulder, and sharpened edges which taper to a point. The handle is carved to represent the mythical demon Nawasari - with a radiating mane and right arm grasping a large dagger behind its head - and the sheath's upper guard protector bears another bust of Nawasari's face in low relief. A small copper separation ring inlaid with five salmon-hued glass cabochons rests between the handle and the blade guard. An intricate and desirable example! Size: 21" L x 7.2" W (53.3 cm x 18.3 cm); length of blade: 15.5" L (39.4 cm).

Condition: Guard protector and blade housing reattached. Very minor nicks to blade edges, sheath, and handle, with light patina to copper separation ring, and fading to some finer details. Light earthen deposits within recessed areas, nice oxidized patina to blade, and areas of lustrous patina to wooden components.

Provenance: private Rochester, Michigan, USA collection

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