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(F029)

Abstract Bali Dragon in ebony

95

F029

This unique piece of Balinese carving was most likely made during the early 1920's when Bali began to become an international artists' Paradise, when artists like Rudolph Bonnet and Walter Spies took residence there and people like Charlie Chaplin and Claude Debussy visited.

The interaction with modern artists and a budding tourist industry brought individualism and commercialism to the traditional Balinese art. Before the influence of Western individualism in art, personal expression was not as important as the ability to follow complex classical forms for religious purposes. The modern world made it possible for the artist to express his own self, and the tourist market bought his whimsical work. This abstract dragon appears to have come from that period in Balinese art.

After Indonesia's independence President Sukarno's taste for comely women's busts was a major influence on Balinese tourist art and this piece would seem to come from before that time. In fact the style and energy of the piece is a lot like the work of the famous master carver Tjokot, who began carving before the war.

If verification could prove that this is a work of Tjokot, this figure is a priceless museum piece. If, however, it is not, it is still a very good sample of the work in pre-war period. Nevertheless, it is a good piece of art, created by a skilled wood carver even though it might not be an original Tjokot.

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DISCLAIMER: The materials and the make dates of Asian antiques are rarely explicit on the piece. All our descriptions of use, materials, and the dates of our antiques are approximates based on our experience and knowledge. Please contact us if you have other suggestions concerning the nature and the dates of the antiques we sell. Any unsatisfactory item, if returned within 30 days, will be fully refunded excluding shipping costs.