Toba Batak, Sumatra, Indonesia
Provenance: Karob collection, Boston. What makes this piece so wonderful is the masterfully carved handle. It is carved in archetypical Batak form with its forward leaning body, decorated crown, detailed ears, and classic elongated hands; the master carver worked in the smallest details to transcend this object into a miniature masterpiece. The vertical ridge of the face and nose seamlessly continues into ridge in the body. In addition, the legs and feet have a beautiful way of flaring back, almost melting into the figure. The patina is heavily worn from generations of use by the datu priest who owned it. The horn has rich reddish hues that are visually stimulating. The back of the handle has some erosion from extreme age but this does not detract at all from the beauty of this object.