TWO INDONESIAN DJATI WOOD 'ANAK MAS' (FAVOURITE CHILD) CHAIRS
Property from the collection of Mr. Jan Veenendaal
EAST-JAVA, 19TH CENTURY
The first, red and green lacquered, with lobed carved back splat with floral motif above a geometric motif, the caned seat resting on four curved legs, between which carved floral motifs; the second in plain wood, floral motif carved back splat, above open-worked band, cane seating resting on four cone-shaped feet.
The lacquered chair:
H. 66 x W. 67 x D. 46.7 cm
Seat height 26.6 cm
The plain chair:
H. 59.5 x W. 59 x D. 41 cm
Seat height 24 cm
These small chairs were the seats for boys just after circumcision. In Indonesia the boy, anak mas, after circumcision is symbolically sexual mature and ready for marriage. The circumcision chair indeed shares some of the characteristic decoration with the kutwadhe seat on which the bridal couple sits during a Javanese wedding ceremony.
A Javanese bridegroom is said to be a King for a day and a circumcised boy, dressed as a bridegroom, is called penganten sunat, a circumcision groom. The boy is said to be married to the rice spirit, symbol of fertility. The carved decorations of vines, flowers and fruits in the back of the chairs also are symbols of fertility