Gifts from Almarhum Sultan Idris I to HH Prince of Wales, 1901

These gifts were presented to Prince George (later King George V), who was then Prince of Wales, and Princess Mary, Princess of Wales.

Illustration from a Photograph taken by Mr. Leonard Wray of the presents given by H.H. the Sultan of Perak to T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, when they visited Singapore in 1901.

Illustration from a photograph taken by Mr. Leonard Wray of the presents given by H.H. the Sultan of Perak to T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, when they visited Singapore in 1901.

” The beautiful embroidery on the mats and pillows was designed and worked by H.H. the Rajah Permaisuri, the second wife of the Sultan of Perak. This lady is acknowledged to be one of the most artistic designers and workers in the country, and these mats may be taken to r’epresent the best work of their class to be found in Malaya. At the top of the illustration is a square sitting mat, and beneath it is a long praying mat. The end of the latter, which in use is turned towards Mecca, is that which is hanging down. The foundation is matwork of split Mengkuang or Pandan leaves. This is covered with cloth, silk, and velvet ornamented with the gold thread embroidery’ called stijitimba. The embroidered ornaments on these mats are often replaced by silver oroccasionally by gold plates. The ends of the two pillows are adorned with the same style of embroidery. Silver plates are also very commonly used as pillow-ends in place of embroidery. The Malayan pillow is of the two shapes shown. It is stuffed with silk cotton (Eriodendron Anfraduosum) and is rather firmer than an English bolster.

“In the centre of the illustration is a golden betel box, on a silver salver. Behind this is a gold-mounted kris reposing on its cushion. This latter has an internal wooden frame. The top is padded and covered with embroidery, while the sides are surrounded by four rectangular plates of silver.”

Source: H. LING ROTH. Oriental Silverwork Malay and Chinese: With over 250 Original Illustrations. A Handbook for Connoisseurs, Collectors, Students and Silversmiths. London: Truslove & Hanson, Ltd; 1910.

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Footnote: The photographer, Leonard Wray, was the son of a Perak planter and at one time, the curator of Perak State Museum, Taiping in 1883. He was a collector and the state geologist for Perak, and later became director of museums for the FMS. Despite being an amateur photographer, he was a member of the Photographic Society, London and was President of the Photographic Society, Taiping, Perak in the early 1900s. [RCS Photographers Index: Wray, Leonard, 1852-1942]

One thought on “Gifts from Almarhum Sultan Idris I to HH Prince of Wales, 1901

  1. Pingback: Betel leaf holders « SembangKuala BLOG

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