2745

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Malay Kris with Fine Blade & Silver Mounts

Sumatra or Malay Peninsula
19th century and earlier

length: 46cm

Available - Enquire

Provenance

UK art market

This is a particularly fine example of a kris. Each element shows very fine craftmanship, and overall, the piece has a wonderful patina. It was acquired in the UK and almost certainly has been in the UK since colonial times.

The hand-guard or wrangka is of blonde wood and in the shape of a ship’s hull – quite possibly a European ship, as it clearly shows the ship’s rudder. This type of depiction is most typically associated with krises from Sumatra. Caravana (2010) identifies the shape precisely as that of the hull of a Portuguese nau sailing ship. The age and fine patina of this kris is most evident in the yellow hue that the wrangka has taken on.

The blade could be as early as seventeenth century. It is double-edged and straight with a pronounced pamour created by layers of nickel and iron.

The scabbard’s pendok is encased in silver that has been very finely chased on both sides with typically Malay vegetal scrolling.

The hilt is of carved horn and is shaped as a highly stylised Garuda.

The blade fits snugly into the scabbard. Overall, this is a very fine kris in excellent condition.

References

Caravana, J. et al, Rites of Power: Oriental Weapons: Collection of Jorge Caravana, Caleidoscopio, 2010.

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