Javanese straight Bladed Keris with Decorative Pendhok
AGE: – 18th – 19th Century
LENGTH: – 49cm
BLADE LENGTH: – 38cm
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Javanese Straight Bladed Keris with Decorative Pendhok from East Java in Indonesia with a decorative plating on the sheath referred to as the Pendhok.The Pendhok is usually made from metals such as bronze, copper, brass, and silver, those made for royalty are sometimes made from gold with gemstones embedded into the design.
The decorative motifs on the pendhok is symbolic and incorporate a variety of motifs which include plants, animals, vegetation, birds or a geometric or floral design. The pendhok is sometimes made with a solid piece of metal with the design hammered into the metal or in a filigree form such as this pendhok showing a repetitious floral design in between a repeating peacock motif.
The designs emphasize symmetry, repetition, and harmony as their basic principle. The ornament style is believed to embody the ‘syncretic-mystique’ of Javanese Islam and the decoration embossed on the surface was often adopted from of pre-Islamic, Hindu-Buddhist influence.
Traditionally a Javanese male would own a keris which is believed to hold special powers. The ordinary man or noblemen traditionally bought their kris, sheaths, and pendhok from an Empu, a special craftsman (mranggi) who lived in the villages throughout the Indonesian archipelago and Malaysia.
The skills required for kris making were not only a monopoly of palace Empu’s, the art of keris making also became more widespread amongst craftsmen in the general community, whilst the sheath makers were more widely spread to areas outside Yogyakarta and Surakarta.