This fine kris was acquired in the UK and almost certainly has been in the UK since colonial times. It has significant age. We have dated it to 18th-19th century, but an 18th century dating is very feasible.
The hand-guard or wrangka (to use the Javanese term) and scabbard are of lustrous kemuning wood. The hand-guard is of Islamic-influenced, crescent-form.
The scabbard is encased in two sections of sheet silver. These are finely chased with foliate motifs including the clove motif which is an identifying Malay motif on silver. The reverse of the lower silver section is decorated with cross-hatching.
The collar or ring at the base of the hilt is of cast and chased silver. It is crown-like fine and complex.
The blade is double-edged, straight and with a light pamour created by layers of nickel and iron. It is relatively thick too.
The hilt is quite a spectacular gem of Malay woodcarving. It is pierced, tiered and decorated with Malay foliate scrollwork. It terminates in a flower-like finial that has five levels of petals.
The blade fits snugly into the scabbard. There is a small tear to the silver on the front of the scabbard but this is somewhat obscured by the item’s patina,. Overall, the kris is in very good condition and has a superb lustrous patina.
Noor, F. & E. Khoo, Spirit of Wood: The Art of Malay Woodcarving, Periplus, 2003.