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Old 4th October 2021, 04:24 PM   #1
Anthony G.
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Default Ivory Hulu

Ivory to show off and btw, is it Malay or Bugis culture?
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Old 4th October 2021, 07:35 PM   #2
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Ivory to show off and btw, is it Malay or Bugis culture?
It could be either IMO, and probably made from spermwhale ivory according to the dark inner colour and light outside colour.
See a similar one but with simpler carving and bought in Medan (North Sumatra).
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:39 PM   #3
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Here are a few more ivory hilts.
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Old 4th October 2021, 10:47 PM   #4
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and a few more.

I've got quite a lot of old ivory, I've always liked it, and have bought over many years.

EDIT

Sorry, that bottom pic is bone, I pulled these pics from a folder with a few hundred images in it that I put together some years back, the bone got mixed in with the ivory.
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Old 4th October 2021, 11:07 PM   #5
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Are we doing an ivory booty call? LOL!
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Old 5th October 2021, 03:47 AM   #6
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and a few more.

I've got quite a lot of old ivory, I've always liked it, and have bought over many years.

EDIT

Sorry, that bottom pic is bone, I pulled these pics from a folder with a few hundred images in it that I put together some years back, the bone got mixed in with the ivory.
OH! I simple love that Balinese Ivory hulu. Awesome piece.
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Old 5th October 2021, 03:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
It could be either IMO, and probably made from spermwhale ivory according to the dark inner colour.
See a similar one but with simpler carving and bought in Medan (North Sumatra).
Yes, I was told it is marine ivory too. Is mine a Sumatran hulu?
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Old 5th October 2021, 10:13 AM   #8
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I would rather guess a Sulawesi origin because of the detailed carving patterns, see 2 similar pieces presumably from Sulawesi and Sumbawa. However I would not exclude a Sumatran or Malaysian origin.
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Old 7th October 2021, 06:41 PM   #9
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Here's my three. Two of elephant ivory, and one that I believe is a whale tooth.

Amusingly, the one of the left, which shows clear Schreger lines, came from a legitimate gallery, with a certificate of authenticity saying it was marine ivory. Like has been said before, "a certificate of authenticity is definitely a piece of paper."

Have fun,
Leif
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Old 8th October 2021, 09:51 AM   #10
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Hello Leif,
Please show us pics of the hilt on the left viewed from the front and the left sides.
Regards
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Old 8th October 2021, 01:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard View Post
Amusingly, the one of the left, which shows clear Schreger lines, came from a legitimate gallery, with a certificate of authenticity saying it was marine ivory.
I see cracks , but are these Schreger lines ?

Additional pictures would be nice.

Best regards,
Willem
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Old 8th October 2021, 05:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
Please show us pics of the hilt on the left viewed from the front and the left sides.
I'll take a few more pics tonight.

i should be clear, the Schreger lines aren't clear in this pic.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 8th October 2021, 05:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafngard View Post
I'll take a few more pics tonight.

i should be clear, the Schreger lines aren't clear in this pic.

Thanks,
Leif
Yes, this is why Willem and I are asking, the gallery owner may be correct after all...
Thank you
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Old 9th October 2021, 12:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yes, this is why Willem and I are asking, the gallery owner may be correct after all...
Thank you

I just checked the certificate. It actually reads "Walrus Ivory"
Here's some better pics.
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Old 9th October 2021, 02:45 AM   #15
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It surely looks old; I can't see any of the dentine core though.
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Old 9th October 2021, 04:08 AM   #16
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Rafngard, i don't see anything i would call Schreger lines on this hilt. It has some interesting crack, but that is not what Schreger lines look like. Might be different in hand, but based on the photos i could accept it as walrus.
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Old 9th October 2021, 07:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David View Post
Rafngard, i don't see anything i would call Schreger lines on this hilt. It has some interesting crack, but that is not what Schreger lines look like. Might be different in hand, but based on the photos i could accept it as walrus.
Really?
I will happily accept correction, but I thought the "oatmeal" was the thing to look for with walrus ivory, and I'm not seeing that.

Honestly, if this is actually marine ivory, of what ever flavor, I'm happy.

Thanks,
Leif
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Old 9th October 2021, 09:53 AM   #18
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Hello Leif,
I was already thinking about walrus ivory from your first pic and although it is not very clear I would tend to confirm it according to the "marble appearance" on the top & bottom sides of the protruding part, see my hilt (the top one) for comparison.
Regards
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Old 9th October 2021, 09:08 PM   #19
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Default Questions on Ornamentation in Three Parts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony G. View Post
Ivory to show off and btw, is it Malay or Bugis culture?
1) Would the original example from post #1 be considered a Garuda rather than a Jawa Deman? Or simply a bird? I am assuming that an ancestor is implied. Is the term for this hilt pangulu rekko? Is this a name used in traditional culture or one adopted by collectors? If this is Garuda then is the central panel at the abdomen the amrita vial? In a completely different direction Carpenter in "Heroes, Gods, and Guardians" calls a similar profile, "...based on a stylized, hunched human." Page 132. I am guessing that is a reference to Jawa Demam.

2)Under the chin of the original post (OP) there are feathers. I have attached a similar "feathered" or "petaled" pattern of a wood hilt for clarification. Does this feature have a cultural significance that we know about? I am guessing that in relation to Question 1 this moves us away from Jawa Demam.

3) In post #3 of Mr. Maisey, the top rt. (and the top left of post #4 pictured below in post #21) vegetative phallus has a tumpal throne on the bottom with possibly the tree of life motif contained within. I can not see how many petals the throne has. Above in the next section there are stylized vegetative motifs that I can't interpret. The third set of motifs are lozenge patterns without vegetation. Then above a Kalaesque mask that also resembles a spider or a scorpion. This motif has been discussed in previous posts (http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showth...ight=janggelan). Could the lozenges be not just to create a neck for an anthropomorphic figure but also could they be clouds used in separating underworld from the lower worlds for a second "story" that is being told? Is the figure mentioned above a Yaksaha? Is this stylized figure related to the Putrasatu style? Or is sometimes a cigar just a cigar?

Moderators, if question 3 is too off a base I am ok with moving it to another thread which has touched on parts of this subject or in beginning a new one.

Pertaining to the original post's question; I believe in my humble and ignorant opinion Bugis culture dominates this piece owing to the shortness of the base of the hilt and the sharp bend just above the bottom bulge. Jean did you attribute "peculiar decoration with parallel incised lines" p. 95 of " The Fantastic world of the Indonesian Keris Hilts" , the example shown in post #2 as a Sumatran motif? To my understanding Bugis culture is very dispersed in the region and has many places of manufacture including Sumatra?

Thanks to all participants as always for taking the time to show the world all these beautiful examples that completely capture my imagination.
IP
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Last edited by Interested Party; 10th October 2021 at 01:02 PM. Reason: sloppy post. Clarification of Question 3.
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Old 10th October 2021, 01:57 AM   #20
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The Balinese hilt shown from other perspectives.

"--- vegetative phallus ---"?

I cannot see this.

This hilt is a depiction of Nawasari, the "tumpal throne" is a repetition of the Gunungan motif, this same motif is the foundation for the tumpal motif which is frequently encountered in Indonesian art, especially Javanese/Balinese art.

The Gunungan is representative of Mount Meru (Mt.Kailash/Kailasa), home of the Gods & of the ancestors as they await either re-birth or unification with their own personal God. The Gunungan can be interpreted as the "Tree of Life", when its name becomes "Kalpataru".

Pauzan Pusposukadgo made several keris that had a pamor motif that he initiated and named as Pamor Kalpataru.

The Gunungan is perhaps the most important single symbol in Javanese culture.

However, it is a big, big error to interpret any Javanese or Balinese symbol as having only one interpretation or meaning, in Javanese thought the more interpretations, the better, and some of those interpretations will be used simply to confuse those who do not deserve, or do not have the right to understand the true meaning.
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Old 10th October 2021, 02:40 AM   #21
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Thank you all for the wonderful photos & comments
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Old 10th October 2021, 04:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey View Post
The Balinese hilt shown from other perspectives.

"--- vegetative phallus ---"?

I cannot see this.
There is a reason. I misspoke and edited poorly. Top left. I attached a picture of the subject.

Mr. Maisey thank you for your comment on Nawasari and particularly the Gunungan. I feel your last statement strikes home and is the source of many of the questions I pose in the forum "However, it is a big, big error to interpret any Javanese or Balinese symbol as having only one interpretation or meaning, in Javanese thought the more interpretations, the better, and some of those interpretations will be used simply to confuse those who do not deserve, or do not have the right to understand the true meaning." I have run into esoteric beliefs often in my life.
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Old 10th October 2021, 07:07 AM   #23
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OK, it becomes clear.

As a general observation, when we come across these motifs with swirling vines and an overall feeling of vegetation, what we are seeing is a lung-lungan motif.

"Lung" means a shoot, tendril, sprout, young growth of vines. So a lung-lungan motif is a motif that uses representations, either natural or abstract, of vines. We encounter it frequently in batik and in furniture, and as fill motifs in monumental carving.

There are a couple of ways that we can interpret the symbolic meaning of this motif, it can refer directly to growth & fertility, or it can be a reference to the lower slopes of Mount Meru, which are covered in vines and undergrowth and which in turn is a reference to Bhoma, son of Dewa Wisnu & Dewa Pertiwi. Bhoma is the protective force that guards a Balinese temple gateway, and is thought of as representative of the the entire plant world, which is a reference to fertility generated by rainfall penetrating Mother Earth.

If we think of the lung-lungan motif as referring to Bhoma, we have protection in a very broad sense because protection is generated by production of food, which comes from rainfall & the earth.

Bhoma is frequently confused with Kala, both are represented in a similar way.

What we sometimes think that we are seeing is not always quite as straightforward as it might appear to be.
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