Later Period Figurines and Artefacts
The items below, also acquired in Java, are from a more recent period and are included because they illustrate further the craftsmanship in casting bronze and copper alloys. Included are actual pictures of birds to support the suppositions of what species are represented in the two bronzes and break up the monotony of the bronze theme. The two bronze birds were acquired in Jakarta. Although it is possible that they were made elsewhere, an assumption is made that they were made in by local artesans modelling them on birds that inhabit this region.
Although originating outside of Java, other items are included as examples of bronze and brass casting. The numbered images are part of the Apsarah Gallery Collection.
The Little Egret
The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta nigripes) was chosen as the probable local species. The subspecies nigripes, shown here, is a small white heron, which is found in Indonesia east to New Guinea. The adult Little Egret is 55 – 65 cm long with an 88 – 106 cm wingspan and weighs 350 – 550 grams. Its plumage is all white. The subspecies garzetta has long black legs with yellow feet and a slim black bill, and the subspecies nigripes has black feet. Note the straight beak of the egret.
1. Bronze Egret
Dimensions: 36.7 cm.
This bronze bird follows the form of the bird shown above and is most probably a Little Egret, but appears less mature. It is mounted on a wooden plinth. It is known to be an avid fish eater and is seen here with a fish in its mouth. On the fish, the eyes are visible.
The Glossy Ibis
The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) was chosen as a probable local species. This bird is a migratory wading bird in the ibis family. It is the most widespread ibis species and can be found in warm regions of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Atlantic and Caribbean region of the Americas. The adult Glossy Ibis is 48 – 66 cm long, has a wingspan of 80 – 95 cm and weighs 485 – 580 g. Note the curved beak of the ibis. The bird in the photo is not fully mature, but was selected for the beautiful glossy dark plumage displayed.
2. Bronze Ibis
Dimensions: height 28.2 cm.
This bronze bird follows the form of the bird shown above and is most probably modelled on the Glossy Ibis. It is mounted on a wooden plinth.
3. Bronze Horseman
Patina: dark brown.
Dimensions: height 25.3 cm.
The figurine is mounted on a solid octagonal onyx base.
The attire, headdress and spear indicate that the bronze was made to represent one of the heroes of the past before the independence of Indonesia. Note the lack of saddle and reins. Some large statues of heroes on horses are well known. These include: Prince Diponegoro of Jawa (1785 – 1855), Sultan Hasanuddin (1631 – 1670) King of Gowa, and Pong Tiku (1846 – 1907) a Torajan leader.
The first candidate is ruled out because of the headdress, which is not Javavese. The second is ruled out because the headdress shown on paintings of Sultan Hasanuddin is much more elaborate. This leaves Pong Tiku and a photograph found shows a headdress that is the closest to that of the bronze horseman. A statue located at Ma’kale appears to show him with a spear too and the spear is said to be the favourite Torajan weapon.
4. Brass Thai Deer
Patina: light brown.
Dimensions: height 34.4 cm.
This deer is probably modelled after the Thai brow-antlered deer (Panolia eldii siamensis), which is found in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia. This species of deer has a head–body length: 150 – 180 cm, a shoulder height: 110 – 125 cm,a tail length: 20 – 30 cm, an antler length: 99 cm, and a weight: 125 – 175 kg.
The deer holds a special place in Buddhism, recalling the Deer Park in Sarnath. where Buddha delivered his first sermon and teachings. Deer are often are shown with the Dharma wheel [dhammacakka (P), dharmacakra (S)] as illustrated on the Sitemap page.
5. Chinese Bronze Censer
Patina: dark brown.
Dimensions: height 10.7 cm, width 12 cm.
This censer bears the mark of Song Yue Lu on the underside (see inset). This item is similar to in design and patina to other Song Yue Lu items seen in collections. It is understood that it is from the early Qing dynasty.
6. Bronze Japanese Farmer Okimono
Dimensions: height 16 cm.
Weight: 800 g (without base).
Base: dark-grey gold-veined marble.
Unlike most of the bronze figurines in the collection, this bronze figurine is cast from solid bronze, hence the heavy weight for its size.
The figurine carries a staff in his right hand and a curved knife in his left hand. The face is expressive and the position conveys a sense of motion.
The figurine is typical of the Meiji period (1868 – 1912).