Antique Bird and Bell Bracelet from Timor
This stunning piece hails from Central Timor, Indonesia.
The antique form features a star-fruit bud flanked by confronting birds representing female fertility. It was traditionally held in the hand of a female dancer from Belu who accentuates her movements with the ringing bell. Susan Rodgers states in Power and Gold, Jewelry from Indonesia,Malaysia and the Philippines that the style is possibly influenced from the old court styles of jewelry from Java and Bali, These designs reflect the influence of Indian design. Similar examples can be seen on page 299 of Power and Gold and page 211 of Jewelry of SouthEast Asia. It measures 3.25" across and 4" high.
Old examples like this are very hard to come by today and quite collectible.
See Power and Gold,text by Susan Rodgers, Barbier-Muller Museum, Geneva, 1985 and Jewelry of South East Asia Anne Richer, Abrams,New York, 2000 for similar examples.