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Kris with Gilded Silver Hilt
Bali, Indonesia
late 19th century

total length: 56.5cm, length of hilt: 12.2cm, total weight: 576g

This fine Balinese kris comprises the wavy blade and a gilded (gold plated) silver hilt. There is no scabbard. The hilt is a magnificent example of a courtly-style
hilt shaped as a well-modelled demon (
raksasa) figure. The hilt is of an ample size - chunky even - and feels balanced and 'full' in the hand.

The blade has a light
pamor pattern. Pamor iron is achieved by hammering and folding sheets of molten iron and nicklel until the resulting blade has a fine,
watered appearance. Such
pamor designs imbue the kris with magical powers. Such blades were produced by kris-smiths (empus) - a role that combined
blacksmithing with Balinese mysticism.

The blade is in fine condition. The hilt is in excellent condition. It is without repairs or losses. The hilt is the star component here. It is an excellent piece of
silversmithing.

References:
Ghiringhelli, V., Kris Hilts: Masterpieces of South-East Asian Art, 5 Continents, 2011.
Groneman, I.,
The Javanese Kris, C. Zwartenkot Art Books, 2009.
Hales, R.,
Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime's Passion, Robert Hale CI Ltd, 2013.
Ibbitson Jessup, H.,
Court Arts of Indonesia, The Asia Society Galleries/Harry N. Abrams, 1990.
Neka, S., & B.T. Yuwono,
Keris Bali Bersejarah, Yayasan Dharma Seni Museum Neka, 2010.
Wiener, M.J.,
Visible and Invisible Realms: Power, Magic and Colonial Conquest in Bali, Chicago University Press, 1995.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 4657

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