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Rare Tridacna Clam Shell Kris Hilt
Malay People, Terengganu, Malaysia
19th century

height (without stand): 9cm, width: 9cm, weight: 155g, height with stand: 14.4cm

This rare kris or sword hilt is carved from a single piece of tridacna clam shell. It is particularly sculptural. Zoomorphic in styling, the 'nose' is especially
elongated, and the top crest is pronounced. It is from the Malay people on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula.

Kris hilts carved from clam shell are very rarely encountered. Few have been illustrated and relatively few are in museums.

The example here comes with a brass hilt collar (
mendak), and a wooden stand.

A related example with a less pronounced crest is illustrated in Ghiringhelli (2011, p. 128).

The example here is in fine condition.

References:
Ghiringhelli, V., Kris Hilts: Masterpieces of South-East Asian Art, 5 Continents, 2011.

Provenance:  UK art market

Inventory no.: 3595

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Click here to see more Southeast Asian weapons and related items.
The example here is on the right. The larger example on the left is item 3594. Both are shown
together to demonstrate their relative sizes.