Balinese Cuddling Couple
Circa 1960s 24 x 13 cm (9.5 x 5 inches)
A tender carving of a plump couple hugging or cuddling – an unusual subject, in a style that became popular after the slender and elongated sculptures of the 1930s and 40s.
It was carved by Mardika of Mas, a member of a family of Master Carvers noted for their original, distinctive and humorous wood carvings of ordinary people.
This carving was originally purchased in the 1960s by a wealthy Balinese art collector, and was displayed in his own private museum and gallery until the late 1980s when we bought it.
It is carved in jackwood, a strong durable wood that begins life a lemon yellow colour but darkens to a light golden brown with age.
The Balinese rarely sign their work unless requested to do so by collectors and art galleries. This artist is quite famous in Bali, and this carving is signed on the bottom ‘Purna son Mardika, Mas – Ubud’.