Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dagger handle

late 18th or 19th century
Indonesia (Bali or Eastern Java)
Engraved and chased sheet gold, inset with semiprecious stones and rock crystal, over wood
H. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm); W. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm); D. 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Bequest of Samuel Eilenberg, by exchange and Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert H. Kinney Gift, 2008
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 247
This kris hilt depicts Batara Bayu, the Hindu deity Bhima's spiritual mentor, an auspicious motif for a dagger, as one of his roles is to ward off evil and offer protection to the keeper of the weapon. Dressed in sumptuously detailed textiles, he holds a kris dagger and is seated on a rocky foliate landscape, enriched with precious stones and inset with elliptical pieces of rock crystal.
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