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Deer Antler Finely Carved with Scenes from the Ramayana
Bali
circa 1920

length: 26.5cm, weight: 162g

This deer antler segment has been finely carved in high relief all over with scenes of the Balinese version of the Ramayana. The top of the antler is carved
with a large image of the demon-witch figure Rangda. Sinta and Rama are shown as are other figure amongst thick and copious tropical growth.

The Ramayana was composed in ancient India and seems to have been introduced to what is now Indonesia around the eighth or ninth century where it took
on regional characteristics and additions. The story tells of Rama, an avatar of Wisnu, and his wife Sinta, who is abducted by Rawana the evil king of Lanka.
Much of the tale centres on Rama's and his brother Laksamana's efforts at rescuing Sinta with the help of the monkey general Hanuman  and the monkey king
Sugriwa.

The carving is in perfect condition without losses and repairs. The horn has a honeyed-yellow patina and obvious age.

References:
Maxwell, R.
et al, Bali: Island of the Gods, National Gallery of Australia, 2014.
Reichle, N. (ed.),
Bali: Art, Ritual & Performance, Asian Art Museum, 2010.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 3951 SOLD