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Unusual Carved Wooden Kris Hilt in the Form of a Squid
Indonesia, probably Java
19th century

height without stand: 8.6cm

This whimsical kris hilt is highly unusual and appears to be in the form of a squid. We are not aware of any other such examples. Carved from a single piece of
wood, it has a rounded face with an aquiline nose which appears to peer from a hood over a rounded head.

The body of the hilt undulates and is decorated with curvaceous ribbing, leading to a chased silver hilt cup.

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.

Probably from Java, it is an exquisitely carved, small sculpture in its own right, with a superb patina. The hilt comes with a display stand.

References:
Hamzuri, Keris, Penerbit Djambatan, 1988.

Provenance: private collection, UK.

Inventory no.: 4160 SOLD

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