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Old 2nd September 2019, 11:08 PM   #1
Gustav
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 920
Default An early figural hilt

Dear All,

another interesting thing auctioned last week.

It is an ivory hilt from 17th cent., possibly earlier, mounted on a wooden base. It appears to be an old Kunstkammer mounting, possibly also 17th cent. It's inscribed "ZUTIBUR", and there is a faded inscription on bottom of base.

It belongs to a small group of hilts with very clearly defined details, which are so similar that an attribution to one carver or workshop seems to be possible.

One of them sits on Dresden 2889, yet in 1684 and before with some bigger possibility was on another Keris mentioned in the same inventory. The second hilt is in a private collection, mounted on a big 17th cent. or earlier blade, both of them with old style Mendak.

There are another hilts on early Keris, on which the figure is in a stage between… well, humanoid and floral form. This tendency we see already in some Majapahit period stone carvings, well before Mantingan carvings. The feature which really is unique to this group of hilts is the small upright triangular symbol in place where lotus blossom/Yoni normally is depicted on figural hilts from that time. Also other features are carved in a style very distinct from other early figural hilts.

Again - who was using such hilts? Social/religious group, a family?
It seems to carry a message.
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