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Balinese Gilded Silver Kris Hilt inlaid with Semi-Precious Stones

Bali, Indonesia
20th century

length: 14.3cm, weight: 293g



UK art market

This Balinese kris hilt is known as a Togogan-type hilt. It is a very fine example of a courtly-style hilt and is shaped as Dewa Bayu, the god of the wind and a symbol pf prosperity, sitting on a tumpal throne. The god holds in his right hand a container of amrita, the elixir for eternal life.

The hilt is copiously inset with rubies (or pink sapphires), other semi-precious stones and faceted glass.

The amrita container is surmounted by a single oval ruby and surrounded by applied granulation work.

Gilded silver and copper hilts seem to have been made on Bali only in the 20th century. Earlier examples are made of gold sheet.

The hilt is in fine condition. It is without repairs or losses to the stones. The gilding is rubbed here and there as might be expected, and there is some oxidation to the surface. The hilt is satisfyingly heavy in the hand.


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.

Noris, M., Gods, Demons an Ancestors: Art of Indonesian Keris Hilts, 2017.

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

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