Art from Bali and Indonesia
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A young carver from Bali works on a art deco carving during the 1930s.
1930-1940


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Prewar carving done in art deco style, made of Tengoeloen wood. Before 1934
1930-1934
Odd and rare scene. This carving must have been an enormous challenge for the Balinese artist to execute. Therefore one may conclude that this is a unique and uncopied carving. According to the first owner, Emmy Polak, this carving was selected for her on location by the famous Dutch sculptor Hildo Krop. This carving was sold at an exhibition sale in Batavia, former Dutch Indies, in April 1934.(see the photos). Number 13 in the category 'plastiek' /Woodcarvings/ the entry says 'vriendinnendienst'/Girlfriends service/;f 35 (Guilders) In the preface of the brochure, carving number 13 is described as made from the nucleus of the Tengoeloen tree. It also mentioned; "This carving turns more dark after a while and looks then like mahony". This is clearly visible on the first photo. It is remarkable that such a piece can be traced back to the original sales location. No artist name is mentioned though. Pls click on the photo for more photos and info.

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Sitting woman with mirror. Woodcarving from Bali, prewar
1930-1940
Impressive tall statue from the Pita Maha period(1928-1942). Striking elements are the beautiful deco lines that run downwards, and the vegetation-leave-motif on her head scarf. Copying is a normal and accepted thing in Bali, but for a copy you need the orginal. For all the ladies with mirror-carvings, this is probably the preferred original. Each photo can be enlarged two times by clicking on the image.


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Reclining lady in art deco style
1930-1940
Many of these panels are made over the years in Bali. Some like this one, others of mothers with their babies. Most of them don't have the refinement of a Pita Maha carving, but were just made for the tourist market. This one has a very high quality in both carving skill as well as lay out. The maker clearly was looking for the ideal line in his art work. Something we in the West refer to as 'art deco'. The face is subdued but also mysterious. Very few decorative ornaments in this carving, which enhances the overall expression of this impressive art work. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Balinese high priest with container for holy water
1930-1940
Excellent carving from the Pita Maha period(1928-1945). There are beautiful details, like the open container and much detail to the fingers and feet of the priest. On photo 9, 10 and 11 the art deco lines are clearly visible. Carved in the expensive satinwood, only used by the best carvers of the village. Finished with a beautiful dark brown patina. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Phenomenal wooden sculpture of a sleeping woman in art deco style. Made on Bali in the 1930s.
1930-1940
The new wave of woodcarving during the Pita Maha period (1930-1942) reaches here a high. The artist, I Made Geremboeang, is able to come up with the right solutions for the most difficult parts of the carving; pay attention how the arms and hands, traditionally the most difficult in art, are handled. Also the legs and feet are carved brilliantly. By pulling up the legs the tension in the carving is increased without influencing the intimite and subdued character of the scene. The head is not bent to one side, but looking straight upwards, giving it a good contrast with the rest of the body. The hair is carved flat and stylish, and beautifully ignored to one side of the carving. Just be aware that a woodcarver must have this form in his mind before he does the first cut! Because this sleeper is the purest example of that new art wave on prewar Bali, which Bonnet describes in 1936 as I Geremboeang being the best master of this genre, there can be no doubt that Geremboeang was the maker of this magnificent piece of art. Please click on the photo for more photos and info.


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Woodcarving sleeping woman Pita Maha
1930-1940
Maginficent grotesque carving of a sleeping lady. This panel was made by a mastercarver in the 1930s The difference with the panel Tobo 612 is the rough big manner in which this artwork has been made. Clearly the carver was trying to make an impression by looking for the bigger lines instead of going into detail. The result is enhanced by the unusual dimensions (44 cm) and the very dense and heavy wood that he used. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Wooden coloured statue of a female priest ("Pedanda Isteri").
1930-1940
On bali there are more female priests than male. They are treated equally. The Pedanda Isteri has 3 important tasks: every morning she prepares the holy water, she also prepares the offerings (banten), and she may lead a ceromony if called upon. When she leads a temple ceremony she has to be of the Brahmin caste. Some Pedanda Isteri are married to a male priest. Rare statue, probably made in the time that Art Deco was in demand, hence the colouring (the colours used are typical for the art deco). Made in the thirties by a very talented anonymous artist. Most likely was this sculpture commissioned by a gallery or a foreign customer.


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Sitting Balinese priest with mudra
1930-1940
Great example of the great woodcarving skills of the Balinese. This magnificent carving of a sitting Bali priest was probably made by a simple rice farmer, who learned the skill from his father. Not many carvings show these complicated handpostures, called "mudra's". Tyra Kleen studied these handpostures and made many drawings of the different mudras and published them in the book ; "Mudras auf Bali" 1923. This particular mudra is not in the book, but no doubt does it represent a certain meaning in the Hindu religion. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Silver container for holy water used by Hindu priests on Bali during rituals.
1910-1940
Rare container with nicely decorated lid. The silver is of a lower standard than the usual standard(960). Holy water is very important in the Hindu religion. It is created through a ritual whereby a pedanda(Bali priest) is in trans, allowing the gods to take possession of the water. The water now has a purifying power. The priest uses this holy water to purify objects and persons to keep the evil spirits away. On the outside the guardians of the four wind regions are visible. Because of this important role the container of the holy water is richly ornamented and made of silver and sometimes gold. .


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A set of two holy water containers
1920-1940
These containers were used to store the holy water. The silver is of a lower standard than the usual standard(960). Holy water is very important in the Hindu religion. It is created through a ritual whereby a pedanda(Bali priest) is in trans, allowing the gods to take possession of the water. The water now has a purifying power. The priest uses this holy water to purify objects and persons to keep the evil spirits away. Because of this important role these containers are richly ornamented and made of silver and sometimes gold.


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Wooden DJANGER dancehat from Bali.
1930-1940
Extremely rare. Remarkably preserved because this is an object from the 1930s. It was collected by a Dutch painter who brought it to Holland after his stay in Bali. Another reason for its rarity is that there are no more Djanger dances on Bali. How few of such fragile dance hats in the original condition could have survived the burden of time? On the back there is an old sticker with the text from the company who produced it ; Balinese artcraft Industry; TOKO RATIH, Den Pasar Bali Indonesia. In an old brochure I found that this particular toko was situated in the Pasar Street 27 in Den Pasar. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Dance hat used in the Balinese Djanger dance
1940-1960
Extremely rare object. The Djanger dance is not performed on Bali for many years. Djanger hats appear seldom on the market. The hat is made manually with several materials. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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original legong dance crown with neckornament
1930-1940
Written on the inside ; V. ZAREMBA (also the neckornament carries this signature), most likely she was the owner of the dance hat. She was a niece of the famous legong dancer Ni POLLOK. Made of wood, buffalo-leather, mirrors and bamboo. It must have been a painstaking work to cut all the beautiful ornaments into the leather. Only the best dancers were given this quality of hats. Rare object because on Bali usually the older hats are re-used by painting them over or fixing new material onto them. This hat is still in the original form in which it was made as is the original neckornament. Looking at the seize of the neck it is clear that the user was not older than 10-12 years. In pre war Bali only very young girls were allowed to perform the difficult legong dance. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Offering container for new born children. Local name; Sanggah Kumara. Made of wood and rope. Bali, around 1900.
1880-1900
Extremely rare object. This antique offer tray was used to hang over a new born child at the ceiling. Thats why the bottom has been carved with beautiful details and ornaments. Inside the tray offers were placed in order to protect the child from evil forces. Such an object is only to be found in musea and private collections. A smilar object can be seen on the last photo. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Old Wayang lamp holder from Bali
1920-1950
This wooden Wayang-lamp is in fact a vertical holder for an oil-lamp used during a Wayang-kulit performance. Attached to the two holes at the bottom is a small oil-reservoir, in which a fuse is set on fire. The flame enlightens the wayang kulit puppets which are handled by the dalang behind a screen.The spectators in front of the screen see only the shadows of those puppets. The upstanding wooden holder has the shape of a fable animal with a human face as a balinese dancer. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos. The last two photos show two other examples of such a wayang lamp-holder.


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Singha with wings
1900-1910
Early carving which served as a base for a post. This base supported a pillar which supported a roof or bale bale, or other important building in a prewar Balinese village. Traces of polychromie(coloured paint) Old piece, probably around 1900-1910. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Part of the Gamelan orchestra. This instrument is called a gender, which is a general name for such a metallophone. The metal plates will resonate with the air in the underlying bamboo poles underneath and subsequently sound is produced. An hammer with a rubber head is used to play the gender. The colour red is often associated with extra-natural powers and the colour gold radiates richdom. The kala heads on both sides of the gender are meant as protection for hostile spirits.
1930-1950
Old and antique instrument which still produces a wondeful sound. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Rare calendar from 1966 with reproductions of 4 pastels from the Dutch master Rudolf Bonnet. Pls click on each photo see a larger image. Published in 1966 by Tong Tong.
1966
Extremely rare item. Die hard Bonnet collectors must search for years to get their hands on this calendar. Tong Tong was a cultural foundation in The Hague to preserve the Indie legacy. For this purpose they published a magazine (Tong Tong magazine, now called "Moesson") and organized cultural events like exhibitions and fairs. It was during an exhibition of works by Rudolf Bonnet that an idea was born to create a special Rudolf Bonnet-calendar. It is the only calendar ever published about an Indie-oriented artist. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Bali calendar from 1948 containing 6 lithographs by Willem Gerard Hofker. Published by 'Het Hollandsche huis' and printed by the firm 'Dieperink' in Amsterdam
1948
Rare item, especially when the condition (mint) is taken into consideration. All the litho's were made by Hofker after his return from the Netherlands East Indies in 1945. The origin of each litho is a pastel drawing, which Hofker made in Bali. A must for every Hofker-collector! Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Portait by Theo Meier in handcarved frame.
1951
Quick but precisive drawing by Theo Meier of presumeably his friend, I Gusti Gede Tadji, because this name is written in pencil on the back of the frame. Nice handcarved Balinese frame. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Cockspur case, local name Kotak Taji. Bali, wood
1930-1940
Top piece in the category Kotak Taji. The colours are very well preserved, as is the overall condition. The owner must have been rich, or maybe of royal descent, because this case could contain 16 spurs. This implies he owned a considerable number of fighting cocks. The colour red reflects the status of nobility on Bali. The figure is Twalen, one of four servant clowns from the Hindu Mahabharata story.Twalen is depicted as a hermaphrodite; this reflects how the Balinese look to a god; with a male and female principle. The enlarged nose is regarded as a beauty feature on Bali. Provenance; Old Dutch collection.


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Woorden square support with fine woodcarving used in a bale bale
1920-1940
Nicely carved wooden support, either used as a support for a pillar as part of a bale bale, or as a support for a holy statue.


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Part of the Gamelan orchestra. This instrument is called a gender, which is a general name for such a metallophone. The metal plates will resonate with the air in the underlying bamboo poles underneath and subsequently sound is produced. An hammer with a rubber head is used to play the gender. The colour red is often associated with extra-natural powers and the colour gold radiates richdom.
1950-1970
Two gamelan instruments with beautiful sonor sound. Special attention to the detailed woodcarving!


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Water scoop with a handle decorated with ornaments. Prewar. Very rare object. Local name; Gayung
1910-1940
Rare water scoop from prewar Bali. A coconut has been cut in half to create the container for the water. Sometimes in prewar bali even simple household objects, like this one, are decorated with carved motivs. The last photo depicts a Balinese girl with a typical ordinary water scoop. The photo was taken around 1930. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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Box with animal-flower-wayang pattern. Used for a bible. Made on Java.
1930-1950
Beautifully carved wooden box. These boxes are called 'bible'boxes, because they have the shape of a large book, for example a bible. The woodcarving was done on Java, and is called 'jarapara'. The key is still there and te box can be closed and locked. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Brass temple bell Bali, 1st half 20th century
1920-1950
Impressive and heavy shell used by brahman priests on bali during holy ceremonies. Almost an identical shell was depicted in a tourist brochre from 1939. See the last photo.


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Rama and Sita in a lovely sitting pose. Crocodilewood
1980-1990
Made of crocodile wood. Made by I Meja Lasia (1928-2001) from Sukawati. Modern carving with exquisite detailed carving techniques. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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2 parrots on a base with their offspring
1940-1950
Nice birdsculpture of 2 parrots with their offspring. Probably made as a special request of a Dutchman. Made on Bali or Java during the 1940s. Heavy wood. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Bell/Gong, made in Java
1930-1940
Very nice detailed gong, carved in the famous jarapara style. the most remarkable thing is that the gong is completely intact. There isn't the slightest damage. Beautiful ornaments of floral patterns and wayang figures. A similar gong can be found in the Nusantara Museum (Delft) and the Gemeente Museum in Den Hague. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Bali mask
1950-1970
Fine carved mask by the well known maskmaker I KTUT PATUT, who worked in sebatoe. This mask was bought in the Njana-tilem gallery. Tilem was so pleased with the quality that he sold these items as they were made by him.


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Wooden statue of a priest and his servant in the shape of a monkey.
1930
Magnificently carved statue of a somewhat mysterious scene. Probably it depicts a shiwa-priest with one of his servants, Baroeh in the shape of a monkey. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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The golden deer has been struck by Rama's arrow. A scene from the Hindu story Ramayana. Pls click on each photo to see a larger image
1930-1940
Animal carving with great expression. The golden deer Patih Maritja, a servant of the demon king Rawana, has disguised himself as a golden deer to lure Rama and his brother Laksama away from Sita, so that Rawana can take her with him. When the golden deer has been struck by an arrow, the deer changes into a demon, and the brothers realize they have been fooled. At that moment the real adventure begins in the Ramayana saga; to try to find Sita and free her from Rawana. If you click on the photo you will get more photos and info.


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Wooden Singha with wings
1900-1930
Beautifully carved singha with wings. Made probably in the early 1920s. The whole at the back was made for a vertical pilar to fit in that supports a roof of a building or bale bale. A bale bale is a community building inside a Balinese village where ceremonies take place, like weddings, toothfiling, offerings etc. Looking at the high quality of carving this Singha might have been part of a temple or a building belonging to a high cast person. These persons, like rulers of a district or priests, had access to the best crafts men in the village. The last photo shows a drawing by Dutch traveller/artist WOJ Nieuwenkamp, who was in Bali during the 1920s. The picture shows a similar Singha as part of a rice-barn. In the middle is Dewi Sri, the goddess of the rice. This rice barn was important for the Balinese, because there the food was preserved. The deer on this carving is a symbol of prosperity and as guardian of the roof. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images


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Javanese foodstand
1920-1940
Well preserved image of a Javanese foodstand, a sate seller. Before the war these sellers were abundant on the Streets of Batavia!


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Javanese foodstand
1920-1940
Well preserved and rare marquette of a Javanese foodstand. Materials used; wood, tin, terra cotta, bamboo, batik.


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Wooden bookends made on Bali.
1930-1940
Nice pair of bookends, executed in the Art Deco style. This pair is slightly different than the other pair in the Tobo Art collection (TOBO-00018). Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Wooden box with an islam-text carved on top. Made in Sumatra, Indonesia.
1930
Very interesting box, used to store a handwritten Koran. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Carved bone from a deer antlers
1940-1950
Bone sculptures are known on Bali, made of the bones of the cow, usually the height is 21-24 cm. This tall bone carving is made from the antlers of a deer. Probably the artist found the antlers in the forest and decided to make it into an artwork. Hence the unique character of this work, which required days/weeks to finish looking at the many figures and ornaments on the carving. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Bookends of praying men.
1930-1940
This is an important scene in Bali's daily life. from early morning to dawn the balinese bring offers in their houses and temples to please the good will of the gods. This motif has been used for these bookends. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Carved bone.
1930-1940
Magnificent bone carving. Many motivs are depicted on this bone carving, like animals, demons, floral patterns. This art work was most likely done by a specialist in bone carvings. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Palm leaf-manuscript
1930-1950
Lontar with very detailed drawings of scenes from the Ramayana story. Not a souvenir item. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Manuscript on dried lontarleaves made on Bali.
1950-1960
Very detailed drawings of scenes from the Ramayana story. Eight palm leaves. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


 
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