Art from Bali and Indonesia
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Balinese high priest with container holy water
1930-1940
Nicely carved caving 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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impressive bust of a young Indonesian woman
1930-1950


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Bust of a typical Javanese woman in the Dutch Indies-era.
1930-1950
One of the best Indonesian busts I've ever seen. Remarkable features and strong rendering of the hair. Made by a mastercarver. Whether this bust was made in Java or Bali is unclear. Sometimes these busts were made for local people to serve as a marriage present. Usually there is a male bust with it(loro blonyo).


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Rare bust of a Indonesian teenager.
1930-1950

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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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Sleeping 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 woman with fruit, made by I Wayan wiri.
1940-1960
Elegantly executed carving by the well known Balinese artist I Wayan Wiri. His work focusses on women, standing and in sitting positions.


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Wooden statue of the Hindu witch Rangda standing on one of her children.
1930-1940
Unusual 1930s-woodcarving of the witch Rangda, the personification of evil in the Hindu religion. Rangda is often depicted as an old pregnant woman with long hair and an ugly face. The meaning of Rangda standing on a child- may be related to an old Balinese folk-tale. Here Rangda wants her daughter Ratna Manggali to be married to an important person. However nobody wants to marry a daughter of a witch. Rangda takes that as an insult and wants revenge. She then goes to Durga, the demonical wife of Siwa and asks for advice. She advises her to go to the cemetery Gandamayu and dig up a body of a deceased child, which needs to be offered to Durga.

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Wooden sculpture of Wilmana, the travel animal of the Hindu God Vishnu, with a container of holy water
1890-1900
Early and odd statue, made in Bali probably before 1900. This is Wilmana, the winged travel animal of Vishnu and Rawana(one of the main characters in the Ramayana story). The odd feature is the fact that Wilmana has been carved without its rider. It also has a container for holy water in the right hand, and the left thumb has a long nail, normally features of a priest. Its body is that of a human with normal hands and feet, although its eyes and mouth are those of a demon. The wings are painted with the colours gold, red and black. The colour red is symbolic in Bali;In this carving it stands for bravery, dynamic and energy, features for demons. Between the eyebrows there is the cuda manik, the symbol for the circle of life. The body shows extraordinary detail. Only in very old Balinese statues one can find the colour gold. Extremely collectible.

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The god Vishnu as temple guard. Wooden statue made in Bali 1920-1940
1920-1940
Very subdued almost solemn statue. Vishnu sits on a stupa and has a mantra, a certain hand gesture in the Hindu mythology. This feature with the age factor is enough proof that this carving was NOT made for the tourists, but rather as a Hindu object to protect the visitor entering the temple. Most likely it was placed near a temple entrance in a prewar Balinese village. Real folk art!


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Wooden support, made on Bali in the 1930s.
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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Wooden bookends, made on Bali period 1930-1950.
1930-1950
Odd pair of bookends. The beautiful dark brown patina indicates an early production date. These bookends have 2 unusual features; the man and woman stare right at you(normally the stare is subdued and pointed down). Also the head scarf of both is unusual. Maybe this set was made in a remote part of Bali, away from the tourist trail.


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Archer who tries to shoot the deer
1935-1940
Strong expressive rendering of the famous archer in the Hindu Ramayana story who tries to shoot the holy deer. Special attention for the enlarged bow, which increases the overall power of the carving. Pls click on the photo to get more info and photos.


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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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Balinese dance mask
1930-1940
Well made antique mask, probably used for the kecak dance. The hair is real hair from a human being or horse. This was common in Bali for prewar masks.


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Wooden painted dance mask
1930-1940
This mask was used during one of the many dances on Bali.


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1930-1950


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Bird-salamander sculpture, made on Bali
1930-1940
A real collectible, this super mini carving. Just 13 cm(!) high, but carved with high skill and humour. Probably made in the little village of Njuh Kuning, close to Ubud in the center of Bali, where many animal carvings are produced.


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Wooden sculpture of a Singha, made on Bali
1920-1940
Nice old sculpture with a practical purpose, besides its decorative function. On top of this sculpture is a gap in which a vertical pillar fits. This pillar connects to a roof of a house or temple. The wings and tail are seperate pieces. Clearly NOT a tourist item.


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Woodcarving of an old Bali priest
1920-1940
Very old and heavy carving of a Bali priest. He holds a flower and the priest bell (genta) with which he can perform religious acts. Because of its seize and weight this carving could not be a souvenir item. Probably it was made to decorate a temple.


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Wooden statue of Garuda, made in Bali
1930-1940
Big and massive carving of Garuda, the holy bird from the Hindu religion. This Garuda was part of an exhibition in Boston (USA) featuring the prewar art on Bali.


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Garuda as temple guard
1930-1940
Impressive statue of Garuda, important figure in the Hindy mythology. This garuda is made by the same carver as the garuda of Tobo 298. Remarkable is the fact that this statue has survived the transition from Bali to Holland better than the 298-item. Only some minor cracks. Over all in fine condition.


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Magnificent bird sculpture, executed in the art deco style. By twisting the neck to the extreme the artist succeeds to display a maximum in expression.
1930-1940
Birds sculptures are popular on Bali. Birds represent the 'upper world' in the Hindu mythe. They are also the transport-animal for certain gods. Many birds-carvings were copied, like the well known bird with egg-bookends. But this one is a unigue artwork. Not many Bali carvers were able to copy such a masterpiece properly. Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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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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Dying deer struck by an arrow
1930-1940
Animal carving with great expression. The golden deer Patih Maritja has been struck by the arrow of Rama in the famous hindu epic Ramayana.


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Archer
1930-1942
This archer has been carved in an unusual style. Most archers from the thirties have the bow and arrow pointed sideways or slightly up. This archer points his arrow downwards. Also his standing up is rare. Usually most archer-carvings have the carver kneeling down. With this pose the artist wanted to increase the expressive power of his carving. Besides that this statue has the usual features of a 1930 carving; long fingers, the art deco lines and the detailed ornaments. A real collectable piece! Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Bird with prey
1930-1940
Bird sculpture with strong art deco features. The twisted neck is very difficult to execute.


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Bali priest with a bell
1940
Very large statue of a standing Bali priest, made before 1940. this is a carving not made for the tourists, since the size makes it unpractical to carry. Maybe this statue was made for a temple or it was a special order for a priest.


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Wooden Singha with wings
1900-1920
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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Sitting person with ganesha features
1950-60
Well executed carvingmade in the period 1950-60. The carver undoubtedly had a meaning when he made this small carving. The sitting human figure has facial features of a human being and the holy Hindi god Ganesha.


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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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Bookends, in the shape of birds.
1930-1940
Birds bookends were a popular export product on Bali in the 1950s. Thousands were mass produced and that affected the quality considerably. These bookends however were made before the mass production began. This is noticeble at two differences when compared to the more general bookends. First the beak of the bird goes into the egg instead of around it. Secondly the back support is bent slighly backward, just like a row of books would do. Normally the back support is placed under a 90 degrees angle. Also the beautiful brown patin is proof that these bookends were made in the thirties.


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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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Wayang instruction-mould. Wood

A remarkable object used in a school or workshop for student learning the trade of woodcarving. In 5 stages the creation of a Wayang-head is shown. A missionary brought this piece to Holland.


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Batak sculpture
1930-1942
Same kind of sculpture as TOBO-165 ,only this one is smaller. At the top a bird is depicted.


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Birdcarving with one wing upwards and twisted neck.
1930-1940
Good well-detailed carving. Probably made in the animal-woodcarving-village Njuh Kuhning near by Ubud. Their favourite animal must have been the bird when you consider the big number of bird-carvings all around the world. Striking is the somewhat odd lightbrown varnish and the rich ornamented wings.


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Rawana, the demon king from Ceylon, with Sita on his lap.
1930-1940
old carving depicting a scene from the ramayana story


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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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Batak sculpture. Made on Sumatra by the Batak people.
1940-1950
In the little hole at the bottom the ashes of the deceased is preserved


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Scene from a mythologic story.
1940


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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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Mother and child. Wooden sculpture made on Bali.
1920-1930
Exceptional long carving (very rare!). Carved in Art Deco, a style that just became known on Bali at that time. A similar carving was exhibited during the exhibition "ART DECO ON BALI" in the Nusantara Museum in Delft (Holland) in 2005. It was published in a book accompanying the exhibition "Art Deco Sculptures From Bali 1930-1970" written by Frans Leidelmeier (page 69). Pls click on each photo to see two larger images.


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Balinese woman with 3 birds. Wooden sculpture made on Bali in the thirties.
1920-1930
Extremely long sculpture (very rare!) in a time that it became popular for balinese artists to create longer sculptures. Later a broader base was made to make the sculpture more stable. This statue must have been one of the first in his kind. Later it has been copied many times in all kinds of shapes and sizes. 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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Temple guard.
1920-1930
Old sculpture probably made before 1930. In those times only sculptures like this were made for use in temples.
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