Enquiry about object: 5769

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    Dayak Carved Wooden Stopper

    Dayak People, Borneo, Malaysia
    19th century

    height (without stand): 10.8cm

    Available Enquire


    Private collection, UK

    This very charming carved wooden stopper shows two figures that appear to be wrestling, or the pair are a man and a women with the woman sitting on the knee of the man. Their hairstyles and facial features suggest they are Chinese.

    The wood has a beautiful black-brown patina.

    Such stoppers were used to close bamboo containers that held powdered lime that was an integral part of the betel quid.

    A related stopper is in the British Museum, and a related stopper with overt Chinese influence is illustrated in Schoffel (1981, p. 150).

    The example here comes with a high-quality custom-made metal stand.


    Schoffel, A., Arts Primitifs de l’Asie du Sud-Est (Assam, Sumatra, Borneo, Philippines): Collection Alain Schoffel, Alain et Francoise Chaffin, 1981.

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