This silver alloy vessel of oblong form is known in Indonesia as lelancang. Our present lot is very decorative and yet another fine example of Balinese silverware almost certainly the work of local silver craftsmen from the Kamasa region in Bali.
Theses bowls are used to contain different accessories for the betel ceremonial and food offerings in a temple.
The base and central cartouche of the vessel is decorated with a crawling genie, identified as probably the mythical Barong, a beneficent lion-like creature, and the king of good spirits, the Barong is a very well–known character in Balinese art, he is considered to be the king of all kind spirits and the leader that represent the good and the enemy of Rangda the demon queen and mother of all evil spirits, both are represented in the Balinese folklore and dance as the eternal battle between good and evil.
The lobed silver vessel is chased and embossed with extensive intricate details.
The upper rim band has been pierced to form a running frieze of scrolling Hibiscus leaves, in distinctive Chinese style (known in Indonesia as Patra Cina).
Four grotesque faces have been chased at each side of the bowl, as a representation of a Balinese lion (Singa) or the more canonical figure of Karang tapel also those faces could represent the Boma faces.
Silverware and silver crafting in the region of Kamasan was usually practiced in families and guild-like clans, it is also one of the main features of Indonesian culture, however metalwork in Bali was unknown before it arrived to the island by the hands of the Hindus.
This bowl, alongside with our previous piece (our lot No. 335) both are extremely fine examples of Balinese silverware, pieces of this condition and fine decoration are rarely find their way into the Art market.
Condition: Very good, minor wear and tear.
32.5cm diam. across width at widest point of body* 22.3cm diam. across of top.
6.3cm of height.
Silverware Of South-east Asia, by Sylvia Fraser-Lu, Singapore Oxford University Press oxford New York 1989, ISBN:0 19 588898 7, Please see lot no. 20, the Borang face 64.
Indonesia: arts and crafts, Jakarta: Department of Information, 1987, p. 75.
Helen Ibbitson Jessup, Court Arts of Indonesia, Asia Society Galleries, in association with H.N. Abrams, New York, 1990.
Urs Ramseyer, The Art and Culture of Bali, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1977.