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Carved Wooden Kris Hilt
Java, Indonesia
mid-17th century

height without stand: 9.6cm

This finely carved kris hilt, probably from West Java, is particularly early. Carved from wood, it shows a stylised humanoid figure, with leafy motifs about its
body and copious, long hair falling down its back.

The fingers, which develop into carved floral flourishes, is a particularly 17th century trait, which, along with the hilt's deep, rich patina, allows a 17th century
attribution.

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 patina. There is an age-related crack to the front of the hilt but this is
shallow and stable.

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

References:
Hamzuri, Keris, Penerbit Djambatan, 1988.

Provenance: private collection, UK.

Inventory no.: 4161 SOLD

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