Peranakan zilver.jpg

An Indonesian Yogya-silver plate


Yogyakarta or Kotagede, 1935-1940, marked, (alloy) 800 and maker’s mark PH (Prawirohardjo, act. from 1935)

Diam. 27.2 cm

Weight 454 grams

The plate hammered repoussé with flower, leaf and tendril motives shining against a blackened background. Under the influence of Islam, depictions of animal and human figures disappeared almost entirely from Indonesian decorative arts, except for the peacock and snake, Naga. Yogya-silver after 1930 has nevertheless absorbed many diverse artistic influences; the Indo- Javanese style from the Buddhist-Hindu period in Indonesian history, the transitional style between the Hindu and Islamic periods from the time of
the Majapahit Kingdom (14th and 15th century) and Chinese and European stylistic influences. The most important European stylistic influences being the Arts and Crafts, Jugendstil, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.

A silver Indonesian Peranakan plate


Jakarta (Batavia), 1st quarter 18th century, apparently unmarked, engraved at the reverse DLN 05298676

Diam. 27.5 cm

Weight 317 grams

The undulating rim of the plate has four cartouches decorated with various birds amongst the flowers of the four seasons, cherry blossom (winter), peony (spring), lotus (summer) and chrysanthemum (autumn), separated by trellis work. The middle of the plate is decorated with two phoenixes amongst blossoming peonies: clearly Indo- Chinese or so-called Peranakan work.
From about 1680 until De Chinese Moord, the Chinese Murder, in 1740, the Chinese were the largest community in Jakarta (Batavia) and provided an essential contribution to the development of the city.
A similar plate was in the Dutch Reformed Church in Depok, according to tradition donated to the church by Cornelis Chastelein, Ordinary Member of the Council of the Indies from 1705 until his death in 1714. Depok was one of Chastelein’s estates where he had a pepper plantation. He bought twelve enslaved families for the estate, but since he opposed slavery he converted as many enslaved as he could to Christianity so he could free them. The Council of Batavia had ruled the slavery of Christians was against the Bible, so Chastelein was able to free at least 200 enslaved.