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Unusual, Large Courtly Belt Buckle
Central Java, Indonesia
19th century

width: 8.2cm, height: 9cm

This large, showy buckle is after the European style. It features twenty large
faceted glass or paste 'stones' mounted in box settings alongside applied
faceted silver granules, interspersed with applied gold or silver-gilt chased
fronds.

The sides of the buckles are covered in high-grade silver over the iron base.

The top of the buckle is etched with Javanese lettering.

Buckles such as these are associated with the 19th century
kratons (courts) of
central Java, particularly Surakarta (Solo). They were part of court dress for
male courtiers.

The use of Javanese script began to die out from the nineteenth century due to
Dutch colonial influence. Today, relatively few Javanese can read it, mostly they
are scholars.

Inventory no.: 720

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