A traditional Indonesian Java wedding headdress in the form of a peacock
CONDITION: this item has been used by Indonesian brides and so the odd missing rhinestone or small repair is to be expected. However the item is in good usable or display condition.
SIZE: 5 ins h x 6½ ins diameter adjustable
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1970s
MATERIALS: metal and glass stones
Here is a stunning Indonesian ceremonial crown or headdress worn by brides in Sumatra as part of a traditional ceremony. Composed of hammered and repousee gold metal plate over copper, the headdress is a striking piece formed from traditional sacred and symbolic shapes and motifs.
The shape of the headdress is impressive and stylish. A dramatic silhouette of exotic wing inspired shapes; it is based on the formalised representation of the peacock. There is a species of peacock native to Java, and these beautiful birds are well represented in Indonesian arts and crafts. Here the design brings an imposing dramatic elegance to the wearer.
The surface of the gold metal is worked with chased repousee patterning, inspired by the stylised plumage of the bird. From the centre front two great wing shaped motifs sweep backwards. These are decorated with pierced openwork patterns and repousee designs. At the centre front is a tiara shaped panel of openwork, further decorated with AB rhinestones and ceramic stones representing turquoise matrix.
The dimensions of the headdress can be adjusted to fit differently sized heads by means of a mechanism on the back.
The ornate texture created by the surface gives the headdress a subtle beauty and contrast to the piece's imposing silhouette. The repousee is designed to bring beauty and dignity to the piece; when light catches the surface, especially during movement or dance, the depth of gold hues is enhanced and the presence of the headdress is brought even more to life. Placed here and there upon the design are clear rhinestones which catch the light.
This wonderful headdress can be worn or will create an eye-catching decorator piece for display in any home.
Large and elaborate headdresses are still part of the traditional dress worn on festive and ceremonial occasions such as weddings in Borneo, Sarawak, Sumatra, Java and other western islands of Indonesia. Elaborate metal headings gilded, embossed and engraved are attached to combs and worn tiara like on the front or top of the head. These are frequently accompanied by many quivering metallic pins set with rhinestones and adding sparkle.
Such hair combs and headdresses are still part of the wedding regalia for bridal couples. In the past they were passed down through families as treasured heirlooms. However many families have reluctantly sold their treasured possessions. As a result original and handsomely crafted combs and headdresses are finding their way into western collections. Complete outfits of wedding regalia for both bride and groom are now usually rented from a Pemaes or specialist company who also does the bridal make up and hairdressing for the great day.
The final picture illustrates similar hair accessories from contemporary sources and shows the hair styles with which they were used.
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Indonesian traditional wedding headdress from Java (AAE)
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