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A fine Balinese gold offering dish or Bokor

Indonesia, Bali, early 20th century


With an inscription in Balinese at the bottom reading: Made by Pan Tanasih, goldsmith at Bratan, Singaradja.


Diam. 12.2 cm

Weight 148.3 grams


Gifted to a Dutch Diplomat at the end of his career in Indonesia in the early 20th century; thence by descent

A bokor is a round bowl with a low flaring rim, usually of silver, but in palaces gold bokor were not uncommon. They are still widely used in Bali, mostly made of much cheaper aluminium. They are commonly used as a base for large offerings (banten gebogan), tall, tower-shaped arrangements of fruits and cakes, carried to the temple and presented to gods and deified ancestors. A bokor is also used as a container for smaller offerings and gifts brought to places where a ritual is being held. Sometimes a bokor functions as a tray for the various boxes and containers of a betel or sirih set. The upright rim of this bokor is decorated with three bands of repoussé ornamentation. On the broad central band four groups of demonic kala faces alternate with groups of oval-shaped motifs.

For a comparable bowl, looted by Dutch troops from the palace of Klungkung, after the so-called Puputan on 28 April 1908, in the collection the Museum voor Volkenkunde in Leiden (RV-3600-98), see: Natascha Reichle et al., Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance, San Francisco, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2010, p. 197 (ill.).

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