4651

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Damascened Sword with Carved Ivory Hilt

Bali, Indonesia
18th century

length (in scabbard): 57.5cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

This fine sword is from Bali, in what is now Indonesia. It comprises a spear or lance head (tombak), a superbly carved ivory hilt, and a wooden scabbard with silver mounts.

The blade and the hilt date to at least the 18th century. The scabbard is probably later.

The hilt is the main attribute here – it is finely carved with floral scrolls that are typical of earlier Balinese carving, and it has the most wonderful wear and honeyed patina. It does have an old but stable shrinkage-related split.

The blade is likely to be from a spear or lance, probably from one of Bali’s many palaces. It is doubled edged and has a well-defined damascene orpamor. The grip of the blade is covered in chased and engraved silver sheet which has been finely decorated with bands of typically Balinese floral and geometric motifs.

References

Van Zonneveld, A., Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, C. Zwartenkot Art Books, 2001.

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