Wedding Headdress with en Tremble Diamante Settings
Malay People, Singapore
first half of 20th century
height: 25cm, width: 38cm, weight: 474g
This headdress of metal (probably silver alloy) set with dozens of faceted diamantes, is from the Malay people, most probably those residing in Singapore. It would have been worn by a bride as part of a traditional Malay wedding.
The substructure is designed to fit tightly over the head. Twenty-one arms of tightly coiled wire springs radiate from this, each one being stopped by a metal flower, probably an orchid bloom, set with dozens of diamantes. Most have suspended from them further diamantes hanging as solitaire pendants. The springs and the diamante pendants provide for the effect of en tremble settings, so that as the bride moves her head all the diamantes will shake, providing a dazzling display.
The headdress is modelled on the regalia crowns of the consorts of the Malay Peninsula, and also on the headgear worn by dancers (which in turn are based on that worn by royalty.)
As might be expected, several diamante stones are missing, but the crown is otherwise in excellent condition.
Brus, R., Crown Jewellery: And Regalia of the World, Pepin Press, 2011.
UK art market
Inventory no.: 1949
to see a related example.