12 1/2 x 9 7/8 x 3/8 inches
Gift of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr.Arts of the South Pacific
In the 19th century, the royal courts of Bali enjoyed great prosperity and hosted numerous ceremonies and rituals. To assert their right to rule, and to glorify the gods, rulers commissioned artists to create objects of the highest quality. This king's necklace was commissioned by the palace of Singaraja for an important wedding.
Bali is an Indonesian island small in size but rich in adornment. Its artistic tradition descends from older Javanese styles and the ornate Hindu style of India. As in most cultures of Indonesia, gold was believed to be empowered and able to cause both good and evil. It was also valued as a symbol of high status. This necklace may have been commissioned as part of a larger set of royal adornment by King Gusti Agung Gede Agung in 1890 for a significant wedding ceremony. Almost all of the artworks in the set are made of pure gold, evidence of great wealth.