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Kelantan Royal Coat of Arms Gold Embroidered Tekat Panel

Malay People, Kelantan, Malay Peninsula, Malaysia
circa 1920

Textile: 24cm x 24cm; approx. size of embroidered section: 12.5cm x 11.5cm



collected by Alwyn Sidney Haynes (1878-1963), and thence by descent. Haynes was a colonial administrator in Malaya and the Straits Settlements between 1901 and 1934. He held many posts including Acting British Resident, Pahang (1924); British Resident, Perak (1925); British Advisor, Kedah (1925); British Advisor, Kelantan (1930); and Acting Colonial Administrator, Straits Settlements (1933), after which he retired and returned to England, and lived near Stratford-upon-Avon, and then in Leamington Spa. Haynes loaned some of the items he collected in Malaya to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford in 1939. He was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1950.

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

The example here is the coat of arms for Kelantan and would have been made to be attached to an item to be used by a member of the Kelantan royal family, possibly to the traditional Malay man’s headdress (destar). (The script at the bottom of the arms reads in Jawi, the Malay version of Arabic,  ‘Berserah Kepada Tuhan Kerajaan Kelantan’ or ‘To God Kelantan Surrenders’). The Kelantanese arms was introduced in 1916 by Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad IV.

The panel comprises couched gold thread on a purple-black velvet background.

The panel is in fine condition.


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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