**Originally Listed At $450**
Southeast Asia, Indonesia, ca. 19th century CE. A fine old example of a kris, a distinctive Indonesian weapon. The piece has a geometrically carved handle and a simple wooden sheath. The blade tapers to a point and shows signs of having been repeatedly sharpened. The kris is both a weapon and a spiritual object. The oldest known are from the 10th century CE; they are thought to have originated on the island of Java. The bladesmith, called an empu, formed the blade from layers of different iron ores and meteorite nickel. In high quality examples, the metal is folded dozens or even hundreds of times. Size: 7.6" W x 24.75" H (19.3 cm x 62.9 cm)
Kris were worn every day and in special ceremonies; both men and women wear them. They were passed down through families. They were used for display, as talismans with magical powers, and weapons, and as heirlooms, as accessories for ceremonial dress, and indicators of social status. The aesthetic value has three elements: dhapur, the shape and design of the blade, with 40 variants; pamor, the pattern of metal alloy decoration on the blade, with 120 variants; and tangguh, the age and origin of kris. In 2005, the kris became a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Provenance: private Rochester, Michigan, USA collection
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