Enquiry about object: 3595

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Rare Malay Tridacna Clam Shell Kris Hilt

Malay People, Terengganu, Malaysia
19th century

height (without stand): 9cm, width: 9cm, weight: 155g, height with stand: 14.4cm



UK art market

This rare kris or sword hilt is carved from a single piece of tridacna clam shell. It is particularly sculptural. Zoomorphic in styling, the ‘nose’ is especially elongated, and the top crest is pronounced. It is from the Malay people on the East Coast of the Malay Peninsula.

Kris hilts carved from clam shell are very rarely encountered. Few have been illustrated and relatively few are in museums.

The example here comes with a brass hilt collar (mendak), and a wooden stand.

A related example with a less pronounced crest is illustrated in Ghiringhelli (2011, p. 128).

The example here is in fine condition.


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

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