6050

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Malaysian Silver & Gold Bowl Presented to Prime Minister Harold Wilson

Malaysia, probably Kelantan
1960s-early 1970s

diameter: 25.5cm, height: 13cm, weight: 493g

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Provenance

Presented to Prime Minister Harold Wilson of the United Kingdom; from the estate of Lady Wilson, the former Prime Minister's wife.

This Malaysian silver presentation rose bowl, embossed with the fourteen coat of arms representing the 13 states of Malaysia plus the national coat or arms (also rendered again in gold), amongst foliate banded borders, was presented to the then British prime minister Harold Wilson.

The detachable cover of silver strap work sits in the rim of the bowl and allows flowers to be placed into the bowl and held in place. (Such a bowl is typically used for roses or hydrangea blooms.)

Sir Harold Wilson, later Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, (1916-1995) served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and again from 1974 to 1976. This silver and gold flower vase is from the estate of his widow, Lady Wilson, and undoubtedly was presented to Sir Harold during his times as Prime Minister either by the Malaysian prime minister or perhaps by the Malaysian King or Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and his consort the Raja Permaisuri Agong during the royal couple’s state visit to the United Kingdom in 1974.

The bowl is possibly from Kelantan on the Malay Peninsula. It is the state that retains a small modern Malay silver-smithing industry.

The bowl and cover are in excellent condition.

A related, though lesser example is in the National Museum of Singapore.

References

An Exhibition of Malay Arts & Crafts, Organised by the Malayan Agri-Horticultural Association at the Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur, March 28, 29 & 30, 1952.

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