Rare old keris handle made into a European wax seal.
Base 15.6 mm
At widest 3.5 mm
5 cm from tip 3 mm
Base 30.5 mm
At widest 27 mm
Private UK collection
Michael Backman, London
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A fine old Javanese spearhead (tombak).
The blade has an elegant leaf shape with a slightly narrowed waist and a widening base with two small notches at the very bottom. It is forge-folded with a wood grain pamor pattern.
The base is decorated on both sides with raised floral elements overlaid in gold. The overlay represents the "Tree of life" and the type of highly raised floral overlay in gold (lung kamarogan kinatah emas).
Such decoration was seen only on the weapons of nobility, and the type of work started during of rule of Sultan Agung (1613-1645) of the Sultanate of Mataram. By the turn of the 18th century the work got flatter, and so this spearhead is attributable to the 17th century.
It has a separate iron collar piece chiseled with lozenge-shaped flowers, also overlaid with gold.
Some losses to the gold overlay, and some small damages to the edge. Otherwise in very good condition for its age with no pitting. See photos.
For similar raised floral gold work on a state keris of Mataram, see Karsten Sejr Jensen; Krisdisk Chapter 5 fig 32 d. It is dated to the reign of Amangkurat I (1646-1677) or Amangkurat II (1677-1703).
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Of classic shape, with a leaf-shaped blade on a socket, connected by a cast bronze base.
With fine twist-core pamor and carved wooden scabbard.
A what? Yes exactly. An extremely rare piece, the only example I am aware of in published collections at…
Made in the 16th century, for the warrior monks of the Hozo-in temple in Nara.
The only set of its type known to me in both private and museum collections.