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Fine Cast Brass Head Ornament
Dayak People, Borneo, Malaysia/Indonesia
19th century

height: 15cm, width: 10.3cm

This hammered brass plate was designed to be worn on a tightly fitting hat over the forehead as part of a Kenyah and Kayan Dayak warrior's costume. It has
an elegant shape with the top having been cut out so that the plaque has the form of a stylised mask.

Small holes in each of the bottom corner would have allowed it to be fixed to a hat or rattan helmet.

Examples of such forehead plates are illustrated in Schoffel (1981, p. 155), van Cutsem (2005,p. 211), Schefold (2013, p. 128), Feldman (1994, p. 69),
Rodgers (1995, p. 279), and Richter (2000, p. 222).

The example here has a lovely sculptural form and a splendid lustrous brown patina: it has clear and obvious age. It is in excellent condition other than for a
small but stable fracture to a small part of the fretwork. There are no losses or repairs.

References:
van Cutsem, A., A World of Head Ornaments: Africa, Asia Oceania, America, Skira, 2005.
Feldman, J.A.,
Arc of the Ancestors: Indonesian Art from the Jerome L. Joss Collection at UCLA, Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1994.
Richter, A.,
The Jewelry of Southeast Asia, Thames & Hudson, 2000.

Rodgers, S.,
Power and Gold: Jewelry from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, The Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva, 3rd ed. 1995.
Schefold, R. (ed.),
Eyes of the Ancestors: The Arts of Island Southeast Asia at the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art/Yale University Press, 2013.
Schoffel, A.,
Arts Primitifs de l'Asie du Sud-Est (Assam, Sumatra, Borneo, Philippines): Collection Alain Schoffel, Alain et Francoise Chaffin, 1981.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4472 SOLD

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