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Spear Head & Carved Wooden Cover
early 19th century
length (in scabbard): 60cm
This very fine spear or lance head (tombak) and sheaf is from Bali, the Hindu island between Java and Lombok in what is today Indonesia.
It comprises a blade with a well-defined damascene or pamor, a silver grip, and a wooden sheaf that is superbly carved on both sides with a protective karang
figure with a moustache. The sheaf is also decorated ion red and black polychrome with gilded highlights.
The grip of the blade is covered in chased and engraved silver sheet which has been finely decorated with bands of typically Balinese floral and geometric
Lances such as these adorned royal pavilions and palaces and comprised part of the royal family's heirloom items (pustaka). Bali was divided into six royal
courts and kingdoms, and the royal families were polygamous, so there was no shortage of royal heirlooms on Bali.
This is a fine example with excellent patina consistent with a dating to at least the early part of the 19th century. There are some old, stable, shrinkage-related
cracks to the scabbard or sheaf as might be expected, but no losses and no repairs.
Ibbitson Jessup, H., Court Arts of Indonesia, The Asia Society Galleries/Harry N. Abrams, 1990.
Ramseyer, U., The Art and Culture of Bali, Oxford University Press, 1977.
Van Zonneveld, A., Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, C. Zwartenkot Art Books, 2001.
Provenance: private collection, UK.
Inventory no.: 4393 RESERVED
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