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Kris and sheath

RCIN 62918

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

The Sultan of Yogyakarta, Hamengkubuwana III (1769–1814), sent this kris to the Prince Regent (later George IV) in October 1812, ‘in gratitude for having saved his life’. British forces occupying Java had attacked Yogyakarta in June, following rumours that the court there was planning a rebellion. They removed Hamengkubuwana’s father from power and crowned him in his place eight days later.

An accompanying letter from the commander of the British forces, Major General Robert Rollo Gillespie, notes that ‘the kreese [sic] is a species of Arm held in great estimation by the Native Princes in this part of the East.’ The scabbard, mouthpiece and hilt are set with diamonds.