Enquiry about object: 4819
Fine Karo Batak Piso Andar Andar Sword with Gold Suasa & Silver Mounts
West Karo Batak People, North Sumatra, Indonesia 19th century
length: 55.5cm, weight: 396g
private collection, UK.
– scroll down to see further images –
This fine example of a piso andar-andar sword is from the Karo Batak people of North Sumatra. It is notable for its age and obvious patina. The wooden scabbard is decorated with a pleasing mix of alternating bands of silver and bands of a gold-copper alloy known as suasa. The top of the scabbard is carved in low relief with geometric motifs.
The hilt has a bulbous termination known as a bajan, and is carved from a single piece of horn. The form probably is based on the head of a parrot. The base is delicately carved with a crenulated border.
The steel blade is single-edged, long and thin. It has some minor, age-related discolouration.
A related example is illustrated in Sibeth (1991, p. 164).
The Batak Raja Sibayak Barusjahe with a related piso andar-andar. Date unknown, Tropenmuseum Collection.
Sibeth, A., The Batak: Peoples of Island Sumatra, Thames & Hudson, 1991.
Sibeth, A., & B. Carpenter, Batak Sculpture, Editions Didier Millet, 2007.