Object of the Month

This Month's Featured Object

Snuff box, South Africa

Pillow endplate, Malaysia

Silversmithing was a traditional court craft in the Malay region, expanded by European trade and a rich tin-mining industry in the late 19th century. Malay silverware shows a variety of techniques (chasing, repoussé, niello and electroplating) and sultans summoned the best craftsmen to melt down coins or ingots to craft into exquisite utensils and ornaments. Octagonal or rectangular silver plaques ('bantal’) were sewn - through the small holes around the edge - to the ends of bolsters or pillows, furnishing the beds of the wealthy. In accordance with the precepts of Islam, designs comprised floral and foliate motifs in arabesque patterns. Collected by John R. F. Mills, a civil engineer in British Malaya, 1893-1913; PRM 1992.6.71

Check back each month to see the latest featured object.