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OF TOPS AND TOPPERS

OF TOPS AND TOPPERS Cecelia Levin One of the challenges - and resulting bliss - of any museum curator is to rediscover a work of art that has enjoyed a well-established ‘persona’. There is an exciting ‘rush’ when one is able to transform long-held beliefs by holding them up against a new generation of scholarly discovery so that a novel interpretation unfolds. As a consequence, an object’s unique contribution to the continuüm of world art is re-established; others are thus realigned through a domino effect. Among the many masterworks in the Asian art collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is an unusual Javanese gold object. Measuring 12.7 cm. in diameter and attributed to the 13th century of the long-enduring East Javanese period (circa 970-1500), it is unprecedented and unparalleled within the realm of Classical Javanese gold. The work is identified as a ‘crown in the shape of a lotus’; it is claimed that several threads were still attached at the time of its unearthing, leading to the conclusion that it was originally sewn onto some soit of cloth foundation (fig. I).1 The crown is of an unusual, binary construction. The main section is comprised of a convex, circular disc that has http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aziatische Kunst Brill

OF TOPS AND TOPPERS

Aziatische Kunst , Volume 38 (4): 9 – Jul 5, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
eISSN
2543-1749
DOI
10.1163/25431749-90000165
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Cecelia Levin One of the challenges - and resulting bliss - of any museum curator is to rediscover a work of art that has enjoyed a well-established ‘persona’. There is an exciting ‘rush’ when one is able to transform long-held beliefs by holding them up against a new generation of scholarly discovery so that a novel interpretation unfolds. As a consequence, an object’s unique contribution to the continuüm of world art is re-established; others are thus realigned through a domino effect. Among the many masterworks in the Asian art collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is an unusual Javanese gold object. Measuring 12.7 cm. in diameter and attributed to the 13th century of the long-enduring East Javanese period (circa 970-1500), it is unprecedented and unparalleled within the realm of Classical Javanese gold. The work is identified as a ‘crown in the shape of a lotus’; it is claimed that several threads were still attached at the time of its unearthing, leading to the conclusion that it was originally sewn onto some soit of cloth foundation (fig. I).1 The crown is of an unusual, binary construction. The main section is comprised of a convex, circular disc that has

Journal

Aziatische KunstBrill

Published: Jul 5, 2008

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