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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule
Grand Vestibule: The British Monarchy and the World

The Grand Vestibule at Windsor Castle reflects interaction between the monarchy and the wider world


Kris and sheath

RCIN 62067

Indonesian kris and sheath; the wooden hilt carved with two grotesque faces, the gilt metal ferrule set with diamonds; the one-edged steel blade with a serrated back edge and raised watermarks; the wooden sheath encased in a copper or gilt-metal scabbard with a raised chased scrolling foliage panel set with diamonds.

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 had 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 by Stamford Raffles. Raffles was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Java between 1811 and 1816. He dedicated his History of Java to the Prince Regent.

This kris and sheath likely originate from Central Java. The blade is made from pattern-welded iron and steel probably with a high nickel content. The hilt and scabbard feature gold, red gold, diamonds and hardwood.

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