ca. 1920 (made)


Diameter: 11 cm rim, Height: 5 cm

IS.141-2012 SSEA

Bowl (batil), silver with chased vegetal motif and a poem (pantun) in Jawi script around edge, Brunei, ca. 1920

Bowl (batil) of silver, rounded sides with a hemispherical boss rising on the interior bottom, chased with vegetal motifs and a poem of Malay inscription in Jawi script around edge on the exterior.

Brunei silversmiths won numerous awards at exhibitions in Malaysia and Singapore. They traditionally lived with weavers and metalworkers at Kampong Sungai Kedayan, a water village near the palace. By the 1920s, their main customers were no longer the local nobility but foreign visitors and administrators. The poem on this bowl translates as: 'When in Labuan rice grows in streams, the swamps are full of sweet basil. If you would deign to buy this, I would be most thankful. Haji Muhammad Yusuf, son of Haji Muhammad Daud, goldsmith, Sungai Kedayan, Brunei.'

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website