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Javanese

Kris and sheath early nineteenth century

Iron, gilt, hardwood | 59.5 x 15.1 x 4.5 cm (whole object) | RCIN 62915

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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  • Javanese kris and sheath. The pattern-welded iron blade has four waves, and is decorated with a chiselled snake running almost the full length of the blade, terminating beside the ganja in a smug serpent-head with a tiered headdress. The scale and other details are gilt. The blade is decorated with bands of gilt floral ornament at the top and sides of the ganja, and at either edge of the forte. The gold hilt is carved in the form of a raksa demon. The scabbard is of pale hardwood, and the galar has a pendoq of gold embossed with foliage, and terminating in a demon mask at the top.

    George IV's enthusiasm for military dress and equipment found its outlet in his large collections at Carlton House. In 1794 the Armoury was situated at the western end of the House. By 1819 it has expanded into several apartments on the same floor but in the eastern wing. Contemporary commentators recorded the extensive and 'multifarious' nature of the collection, which comprised both historic British and European arms, armour and uniforms, and an equally impressive collection from beyond Europe. The range of sources was extensive and included a number of works from Malaya and Java, including this kris, which was presented to George IV in August, 1818 by Captain William Flint RN, accompanied by a note reading '..as all these weapons are more or less poisoned, it ought to be handled with caution...' The hilt of this kris is cast in the form of the god Hanuman.

    Provenance

    Sent to George IV when Prince Regent by Captain William Flint RN on 3 August 1818. Accompanied by a note saying that it had been given to Flint 'by one of the native chiefs' and 'as all these weapons are more or less poisoned it ought to be handled with caution'.  Flint was the brother-in-law of Sir Stamford Raffles, Lieutenant-Governor of British Java (1811-1815).

  • Medium and techniques

    Iron, gilt, hardwood

    Measurements

    59.5 x 15.1 x 4.5 cm (whole object)

  • Category
  • Place of Production

    Java