5517

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Pair of Malay Bolster-End Tekat Panels with Gold Thread

Malay People, Malay Peninsula, Malaysia
19th century

approx. width of the embroidered section of each: 19cm, height: 12.4cm

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Provenance

private collection, UK.

Tekat is the Malay name given to the technique of decorating textile panels (usually velvet) with thickly applied hold thread decoration. When the thread is applied by couching, the technique is then known as tekat timbul or tekat suji.

The pair here are rectangular and comprise couched gold thread on red velvet backgrounds. The decoration is what is likely to be stylised bunga meningkat (rose) motif.  Sections are raised as well, and this was achieved by inserting small cut-out sections of cardboard (mempulur) and then covering them with the couching work. Additionally, small, metallic spangles were sewn onto each panel as well.

The panels were intended to be added to the end of a long, stiff, rectangular bolster that would have adorned a wedding bed. (A photograph taken in February 2017 of such a wedding bed, in Malaysia’s National Museum in Kuala Lumper, appears below.)

The two panels are in fine condition with minor losses to some of the gold thread, as might be expected given their age. Some of the small spangles also have been lost.  Often today, such panels are framed for display purposes.

References

Ismail, M.S.Z., et al., Muzium Tekstil Negara/National Textile Museum, Department of Museums Malaysia, 2012.

Uda, Y.M.R.D.P. Fuziah Raja Tun et al., Tradition & Continuity: Woven and Decorated Textiles of the Malay Peninsula, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2013.

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