This beautifully illustrated book is the most comprehensive book ever published on the silver and gold ware of the Malay people of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, southern Thailand and Brunei.
Hundreds of photographs of previously unpublished items, and meticulous research, are used to tell not just the story of Malay gold and silver, but that of the Malay people, with reference to their princely regalia, banqueting items, betel sets, jewellery and other treasures.
Michael Backman shows how collectors, curators and colonialism have distorted our view of the Malays and their gold and silver ware, and in so doing, reveals a rich and sophisticated legacy.
‘Malay Silver and Gold is the first book on this topic to have been published in over a hundred years. Rightly, it restores the Malays to the very centre of the commercial history and material culture setting of their region whilst placing them in the broader context of the ‘Islamic world’. With its hundreds of beautiful photographs and outstanding research, it is a magnificent and eye-opening contribution that tells not only the story of the silver and gold items fashioned by Malay artisans but of the Malay peoples themselves.’
– Seif El Rashidi, Islamic Scholar, Author & Director, Barakat Trust
‘This ground-breaking new book is the first study of Malay silver and gold to take chronology and place of production into serious consideration, leading to a much more nuanced understanding of developments across Southeast Asia. The exciting findings include the identification as Malay of certain exquisite gold filigree pieces held in august collections worldwide.’
– Annabel Teh Gallop, Head, Southeast Asia Department, British Library
At last, here is an excellent publication that does full justice to the scope and beauty of Malay silver and gold. Michael Backman describes and illustrates the full range of Malay silver and gold work with superlative photographs. A great contribution to a very important, but hitherto not well understood Southeast Asian craft!’
– Sylvia Fraser-Lu, Author