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Sumatran

Kris and sheath 1700 - 1810

RCIN 67536

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Sumatran kris and sheath. The pattern-welded iron blade is straight, with a dull pamir. The ivory hilt is of 'kingfisher' form, and is connected to the blade by a copper mendaq with a gold ring. The top of the wooden scabbard (wrangka) is plain, and the lower part (galar) has a fluted gold cover (pendoq). The chape is of gold filigree set with rubies. At the centre of the scabbard is a large gold filigree rose set with rubies and attached by a red, blue and white twill cord.

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 May 1817 by Stamford Raffles. Raffles was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Java between 1811 and 1816. He dedicated his History of Java to the Prince Regent. The hilt of the kris is carved in the 'Jawa Demam' form of a stylised man or deity.