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Carved Wooden Kris Hilt
Cirebon, North Coast of Java, Indonesia
18th-19th century

height without stand: 9.2cm

This finely carved kris hilt, from Cirebon on Java's central, north coast is carved from wood, and shows a highly stylised humanoid figure, with sinewy, leafy
motifs about its body. An unusual, small ghostly (
hantu) face has been carved into the hilt.

Traditionally,
krises in Indonesia were imbued with magical properties. Elaborate examples such as this one were part of the pustaka or heirlooms of the
aristocracy to be passed from generation to generation. They were considered to have magic and to imbue magic and power on their owners.

The hilt here is an exquisitely carved, small sculpture in its own right, with a superb, glossy patina.

The hilt sits in a plain silver hilt cup, and is mounted on a display stand.

References:
Hamzuri, Keris, Penerbit Djambatan, 1988.

Provenance: private collection, UK.

Inventory no.: 4158

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