Gold-Mounted Walking Stick
This wooden walking stick is decorated with delicate floral patterns and a gold handle. The design on the wood is subtle with simple scrolling branches bearing leaves and flowers, beautifully inlaid using different types and colours of wood. The handle is elaborately rendered in gold and mother-of-pearl, and heighted with faceted edges and incised motifs of European style. The top features the initials ‘PBX’, raised and embellished with semi-precious stones. The base of the walking stick is wrapped with a thin sheet of gold above a brass foot.
The initials ‘PBX’ stand for Pakubuwono X, the tenth Susuhunan (ruler) of Surakarta, Indonesia. Pakubuwono X reigned Surakarta from 1893-1939, during which time he commissioned numerous royal gifts for the Dutch and other guests. Due to its high-quality craftsmanship and incorporation of European styled motifs, this walking stick might well have been commissioned as a gift. Two further examples of walking sticks designed as gifts for Dutch royals can be found in Wassing-Visser, p. 101, pl. 69, and p. 198, pl. 201. These two examples, however, bear the initials ‘HB VIII’, referring to Sultan Hamengku Buwono VIII of Yogyakarta (r. 1921-39).
Literature: Wassing-Visser, R. Royal Gifts from Indonesia: Historical Bonds with the House of Orange-Nassau (1600-1938), Waanders Publishers, Zwolle, 1995.