A Fine And Rare Majapahit Dragon Kendi
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A Fine And Rare Majapahit Dragon Kendi :
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In this lot we are pleased to
offer a very rare and magnificent bronze kundika or kendi, as it is more
popularly called these days, from Eastern Java, Majapahit Dynasty, and dating
from the 13th century.
This naga (dragon) spouted
kendi is a museum quality masterpiece having exceptional detailing, and it
being in such fine original condition.
Please note that our last
photograph in this listing illustrates a very similar example in the collection
of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and illustrated on page 140 in the book Divine
Bronze. That one is 30 cm in
The long tapering neck with
mouldings in the form of simplified parasols (chattra, payung) and ornate lotus
petals resembling rock motifs symbolizes the cosmic mountain Mahameru which was
used as a churning stick by the gods when they churned the ocean in order to
produce the amrta (elixir of life). The
association of this type of kendi with amrta is clearly seen in a relief stone
on the Candi Kidal near Malang in East Java where Garuda, who has stolen the
amrta of the gods is represented holding a similar naga spouted kendi
To this day in Bali, various
forms of kendi are used as a holy water vessels in temples throughout the island.
This kendi is in excellent
original condition and it retains a multi colored patina ranging from verdigris
to ultramarine color. It measures 26.5
cm or about 10 ½ inches in height and it
weighs 900 grams or about 2 pounds. As
normal with ancient Javanese bronze sculptures it is cast in the lost wax
casting method with additional details being rendered with hand chasing and
The interest in ancient
Javanese bronzes has greatly increased in recent years as evidenced by sale
Please use the safe link
below to view an Indonesian bronze of the Buddha ascribed to the 8th
century and sold earlier this year by Christies for US $22,500.00.
And in that same Christies
sale is this example which fetched US $5,000.00