A pair of royal gold and silver keris daggers for a nobleman and his wife
Lombok, Karangasem regency, 17th century, the scabbards 19th century
L. 59 cm & 56 cm
After they won the Lombok war by murdering the inhabitants that did not commit honourable suicide yet, the Dutch took all valuables with them. In the name of the Dutch government, the riches of Ratu Agung Ngurah Gde Karangasem, but also the possessions of his murdered family and followers, were looted. The so-called Lombok Treasure comprised over 200 kilograms in gold coin, 7000 kilograms of silver coin and more than a thousand ritual and art objects. The grand prize was the 75-carat diamond, one of the world's largest. Almost all coins and most of the treasure were melted down to become part of the Dutch Treasury to fund the expedition, forcefully succumbing to the kingdom.
This very rare set of two gold daggers officially belonged to the Dutch government right after the great looting at Lombok and its Royal Palace in Tjakranegara and the surrounding lands. A Dutch army officer kept this pair for himself, stealing not only from Lombok – but also stealing from the Dutch government. The man kept them hidden in the attic of their Hague family home. He probably couldn’t have them melted down, but he couldn’t bear to look at them either. Even after his death, they remained hidden, and finally, two generations later, his granddaughter decided to sell them.
The pair was by repute anonymously sold to a Hague antiques dealer, with an explanation of their history. The previous owner - who quickly bought them off the dealer who had planned to melt them down - realized the important story they told and saved them from the melting pot.
Only a few other similar gold keris handles - without the blade deemed not of importance by the Dutch - are comparable and are all part of the Lombok Treasure.
Saving them from disappearing into private ownership for generations again, we acquired these relics and now offer them to selected buyers only.
By repute taken by a Dutch East Indies Army Official after the Lombok war in 1894- 1895; thence by descent; anonymously sold to a Hague antiques dealer Private collection, the Netherlands.