Demon-shaped ebony keris hilt – (1887)
[1887]

Very finely carved keris hilt in the shape of a grinning demon. The keris is an asymmetrical dagger with distinctive blade-patterning achieved through alternating layers of meteor iron and iron with a high nickel-contents. The keris is famous for its distinctive wavy blade, although many have straight blades as well. Indonesia is a Muslim country and the faithful are not allowed to depict human forms so most keris grips are carved in simple straight forms. Bali on the other hand has a Hindu-culture which allows depictions of human form. This hilt was made in Bali from ebony which is a difficult wood to carve and the details of this demon are frighteningly well depicted. It dates from the 19th century. Length 11 cm.
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