Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Standing Boar

Period:
Eastern Javanese period
Date:
ca. 14th century
Culture:
Indonesia, (Java)
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
W. 6 13/16 in. (17.3 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Gift of Samuel Eilenberg, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.142.259
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 247
During the rule of the Eastern Javanese kingdom of Majapahit (fourteenth through early sixteenth century), there developed a fondness for a category of object apparently derived from the Western piggy bank. Many terracotta pigs, naturalistic and usually well sculpted, with slots cut at the top so that they could serve as coin boxes, have been recovered from around Trowulan, the Majapahit capital. Even though swine must have played an important role in the domestic economy, the reasons for the great popularity of this animal shape for coin boxes in Eastern Java are unclear. It has been suggested that the shape is a well-suited allusion to financial success as well as culinary delights, since pork and especially suckling pigs are considered a great delicacy. A few of these terracotta pigs are unslotted, and their function, like that of this rare example in bronze, remains unknown.

The fierce look of this creature and his projecting tusks suggest he is a wild boar who is sufficiently domesticated to wear a chain with a bell, a common feature of most of the Eastern Javanese terracotta piggy banks. Hollow, this charming boar was cast in two sections—front half and back half.
Related Objects

Enthroned Buddha Attended by the Bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani

Date: second half of the 10th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 2004.259 On view in:Gallery 247

Hanging Lamp in the Form of a Kinnari

Date: ca. second half of the 9th–early 10th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 1987.142.24 On view in:Gallery 247

The Buddhist Guardian Mahabala

Date: 11th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 1995.570.4 On view in:Gallery 247

Krishna on Garuda

Date: second half of the 9th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 1992.135 On view in:Gallery 247

Standing Buddha Shakyamuni

Date: 9th century Medium: Bronze Accession: 1987.142.19 On view in:Gallery 247