Subject:Re: Balinese Pita Maha Carving
Posted By: kris Sun, Mar 17, 2019
Great post! It is my first message here, so I hope it comes through.
This is a nice carving, it is indeed in the style of the Pita Maha, but it is quite impossible to find out who the carver is.
I collect these carvings and have seen a lot of them (probably a few hundred from this period and style). Most of the time the bottom is blank, sometimes with one or more old labels on it from the shop that sold them.
A lot of them have written a number on the bottom and the text 'Bali NEI' or other text that suggest the place of origin: Bali/Dutch East Indies. NEI stands for Netherlands East Indies, which is the same.
(I have a few pictures of this, if you are interested).
There were a lot of wood carvers on Bali, some more skilled than others. When this style was popular, it was quickly adopted by other carvers, which makes it very difficult to identify the carver.
Some carvers have a very specific style, but they could also create carvings in other styles.
I can not trace the style of this carving back to a specific carver.
As I said, the carvers adopted the popular styles and 'copying' another style was not a form of disrespect, but of honor.
One carver could start with a specific style and quickly others could adopt this style and everyone was fine with it.
It was not common for the artist to sign the carving. Only a few carvers did and not always, most of the time it was on request or only for a special piece.
Sometimes the owner wrote down on the bottom when he bought the carving and where and very rarely the owner would wrote down the name of the carver or the name of the figure the carving depicted.
However, it is a very nice carving and as a collector, I would love to have it!
Have you been thinking about selling?
If so, let me know I am always willing to add other nice carvings to my collection and I can make a good offer:)