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Carved Wooden Kris Hilt
Cirebon, North Coast of Java, Indonesia
circa 17th century

height without stand: 10.6cm

This superbly intricate kris hilt, from Cirebon on Java's north coast, is particularly early. Carved from wood, it shows a highly stylised humanoid figure, with
leafy motifs that completely cover its body, and copious, long hair falling down its back.

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

The hilt sits in a triple-layered
suasa (gold-copper alloy) hilt cup, and is mounted on a display stand.

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. It is in excellent condition.

References:
Hamzuri, Keris, Penerbit Djambatan, 1988.

Provenance: private collection, UK.

Inventory no.: 4162 SOLD

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