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Magic Staff, tonkat malehat

Toba Batak, Sumatra, Indonesia
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Meta Leget, a German art dealer active before WWII. By descent to her niece, NYC resident

The most important object carved and owned by the Batak datu priests were certainly their magic staffs. This early example has a finely cast bronze figure in a classic hunkered position, with a deep and handled patina. Originally, bands of rattan would have been woven around the lighter sections of the upper portion of the staff. For a related example, ref. The Batak, by Achim Sibeth, pg. 128.

Height of the bronze finial: 6 ¼ in / 15.9 cm

Magic Staff, tonkat malehat

Toba Batak, Sumatra, Indonesia
19th-early 20th century

Provenance: Meta Leget, a German art dealer active before WWII. By descent to her niece, NYC resident

The most important object carved and owned by the Batak datu priests were certainly their magic staffs. This early example has a finely cast bronze figure in a classic hunkered position, with a deep and handled patina. Originally, bands of rattan would have been woven around the lighter sections of the upper portion of the staff. For a related example, ref. The Batak, by Achim Sibeth, pg. 128.

Height of the bronze finial: 6 ¼ in / 15.9 cm