Michael Backman Ltd - Home

Gold Filigree Bracelet (Galang Gadang)
Minangkabau People, West Sumatra, Indonesia
19th century

outside widest diameter: 8.8cm, inside widest diameter: 6cm, width of bezel: 3.5cm, weight: 50g

This very fine solid gold bracelet is from the Islamic, matrilineal Minangkabau people of West Sumatra. Being matrilineal whereby inheritance and wealth
passed from daughter to daughter, by-passing sons, meant that gold jewellery, as a convenient and portable store of wealth, took on even more importance
than being merely decorative.

The bracelet is composed of two hollow sections of sheet gold overlaid with gold filigree work, hinged at one end and fastened at the other with a gold pin. The
exterior surface is covered in fine filigree, granulation and lozenge-shaped applique work, all in gold. The surface shows evidence of red staining, which was
achieved with the aid of tamarind.

See Brinkgreve & Stuart-Fox (2013, p. 83) for a related example.

The gold used in the bracelet is probably 16-18 carats. There are no losses or repairs, but there is some gentle denting. The condition is stable and wearable.

Brinkgreve, F., & D.J. Stuart-Fox (eds),
Living with Indonesian Art: The Frits Liefkes Collection, Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde, 2013.
Richter, A., & B. Carpenter,
Gold Jewellery of the Indonesian Archipelago, Editions Didier Millet, 2012.
Summerfield, A., & J.,
Walk in Splendor: Ceremonial Dress and the Minangkabau, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1999.

Provenance: private collection.

Inventory no.: 2238

This Item is available - Ask about this item

Click here to see more jewellery items from Southeast Asia and elsewhere.