Inventory no.: 3147

Balinese Gilded Kris


Kris with Gilded Copper Hilt in the form of the Demon Bhuta-Nawa-Sari

Bali, Indonesia

19th century

length: 55cm

This fine Balinese kris comprises the wavy blade and a gilded copper hilt. There is no scabbard. The hilt is a magnificent example of a courtly-style hilt shaped as the demon (raksasa) figure Bhuta-Nawa-Sari, and copiously inset with coloured glass cabochons. The hilt is of a good size and feels balanced in the hand.

The blade has a fine black and silver-coloured

pamor pattern. Pamor iron is achieved by hammering and folding sheets of molten iron and nicklel until the resulting blade has a fine, watered appearance. Such pamor designs imbue the kris with magical powers. Such krises were produced by kris-smiths (empus) – a role that combined blacksmithing with Balinese mysticism.

The blade is in fine condition with some old rust staining. The hilt is in excellent condition. It is without repairs or losses to the stones.


Ghiringhelli, V., Kris Hilts: Masterpieces of South-East Asian Art, 5 Continents, 2011.

Groneman, I.,

The Javanese Kris, C. Zwartenkot Art Books, 2009.

Hales, R.,

Islamic and Oriental Arms and Armour: A Lifetime’s Passion, Robert Hale CI Ltd, 2013.

Ibbitson Jessup, H.,

Court Arts of Indonesia, The Asia Society Galleries/Harry N. Abrams, 1990.

Neka, S., & B.T. Yuwono,

Keris Bali Bersejarah, Yayasan Dharma Seni Museum Neka, 2010.

Wiener, M.J.,

Visible and Invisible Realms: Power, Magic and Colonial Conquest in Bali, Chicago University Press, 1995.Provenance:

UK art market

Inventory no.: 3147