Malay Brass Jar Cast with Buckles (Pending)
This unusual jar brings together two important elements of Malay culture – the casting of utilitarian objects in brass, and the ubiquitous oblong Malay belt buckle or pending. This is the first time that we have seen a pending or indeed anything other than stylised vegetal and oblique animal motifs cast onto Malay brassware. The pending was a sign of wealth and status amongst Malay men.
From a small, flat base, it tapers upwards to a broad shoulder and then a waisted neck which opens to a wide mouth. Two loop handles are on either side.
On the body, between two borders of the triangular
pucuk rebang (bamboo shoot) motif that is frequently found on Malay brassware and woodwork, are three belt buckles (pending).
The patina of the piece suggests considerable age. An eighteenth century dating is possible. Possibly the jar was made to have a lid. If there was one, that is now lost. Overall, this is undoubtedly a rare type of Malay brassware.
UK art market.
Inventory no.: 961
An early image of a Malay youth wearing a prominent pending.