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This good-sized platter is a of thin silver alloy that has been beaten and then chased with floral and foliate scrollwork arrayed in an arabesque pattern. The rim is wide, raised and decorated with 19 lunettes chased with flower patterns. The edge is crenulated and reinforced with thick, rococo-like silver brackets that have been soldered on to give the rim more strength.
Platters such as these served a multitude of purposes. They served as stands for water pots, serving platters for bowls of food, covers for water vases, and as display plates at a wedding – gifts would be shown displayed on such plates for the guests to admire.
This type of Malay silverwork has its origins in the coastal Malay communities of Sumatra and the Riau islands close to Singapore. Once the Dutch abolished the position of sultan in Riau, it is likely that the local silversmiths relocated to the Malay Peninsula where they continued to make this type of silver for local clients.
The platter is in fine condition and has obvious age.
Chua, L. et al, The Asian Civilisations Museum Guide, Asian Civilisations Museum, 2003.
Lau, A.T. & B. Platzdasch (eds.), Malay Heritage of Singapore, Suntree Media/Malay Heritage Foundation Singapore, 2010.
Ling Roth, H., Oriental Silverwork: Malay and Chinese, Truslove & Hanson, 1910.
Malaysian Traditional Crafts, Urban Council, Hong Kong, 1981.