Two Chased Silver Bowls (Batil)
diameter (each approx.): 15cm, height: 7cm, weights: 137g & 135g
These two Islamic-influenced bowls from the Malay people of Malaysia are of solid hammered silver. Both are decorated with scrolling vegetal borders, eight panels of similar vegetal motifs alternating with plain panels, and bases that are flattened with a slighted indented central area and which are decorated in relief with a flower motif surrounded by a Islamic-influenced star motif.
Such bowls (
batils) were used to hold rice or water and some most probably were used as finger bowls. Other bowls were used in ceremonies to pour water. Probably, they owe their semi-spherical shape which flattens towards the base to inspiration from the coconut shell which was used as a receptacle among poorer Malay households (Fraser-Lu, 1989, p. 73.)
Fraser-Lu, S., Silverware of South-East Asia, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Ling Roth, H.,
Oriental Silverwork: Malay and Chinese, Truslove & Hanson, 1910.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1808