An impressive tiara like Sumatra ceremonial hair comb with gilded brass decoration
CONDITION: good vintage condition with accepted wear
SIZE: 6½ ins h x 9½ ins w (16 x 26 cm) decorative part 4½ ins h (11 cm)
APPROXIMATE DATE: 1900s
MATERIALS: copper, gilded leaf
Here is a wonderful ceremonial tiara style hair comb, from Lampung or Minang, Sumatra. Provenance: Apsara Arts of Asia. Comes with custom stand for display,
This impressive tiara style hair comb shows Malay influence. The basis of the ornament is brass with gold leaf applied over repousee ornamentation. The basic form is a triangular one, with a cresting shaped into an elaborate openwork of leaf shapes. The repousee design features scroll work and flowers. In the center front is a roundel with a formalised representation of a bird which appears to be a peacock. The Indonesian peacock, also known as the merak bird, is a native species that lives in Java. This symbol is found everywhere in Indonesian art and architecture.
The comb is held in position by a row of triangular teeth which are placed beneath the ornamental cresting. The collage photograph shows similar tiara like headdresses in wear.
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 headpieces gilded, embossed and engraved or intricately carved combs are worn tiara like on the front or top of the head. Many of these headdresses show Malay influence in the form of the long side pendants or tiara like aspects which are incorporated into them. Indonesian culture is a fusion of cultural aspects from Arabic, Chinese, and Malay art.
In the past the Malay princes ruled great swathes of Sumatra, the Malay peninsula and Java from their royal capital on the banks of the Musi river. The city, known as Palembang, was a bustling international emporium. Therefore the religions of Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism and their respective cultures met and blended. Gold jewellery played a critical role in the lavish ceremonies held by nobles to raise the rank of their ancestors and also themselves.
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Ceremonial tiara comb Sumatra Indonesia, gilded repousee brass headdress