Thursday, October 21, 2010

Keris Penyalang or Executioner's Keris

This is one of the Malay Sumatran Keris called Keris Penyalang or Keris Hukum. In the olden days this kind of keris is forged and made not meant for fighting but more so for someone who have been given some special rights by a Ruler or King as a symbol of an extention of his power to rule or to execute a criminal by law. It can also be called as Keris Kuasa (Symbol of Power) Top sheath (upper parts of the Keris scabbard) in the sabit bulan or crescent moon form.

Notice one of the Panglima at front row second from right holding a Keris Penyalang in First Durbar in 1897 at Istana Negara,Kuala Kangsar.

Very long and sturdy blade represents the Empu's Skill (Keris Makers)

Hilt in the form of  horse hoof or tapak kuda , it is made from buffalo horn with fine deep and pierced through carvings having a blossoming lotus flower at the top.

Kain Gerus Telepuk Selangor Cop Emas

Kain telepuk, a rich fabric usually worn by Malay royalty and nobility since 300 years ago, will be introduced to state leaders and ordinary people to be worn at royal functions.Telepuk involves imprinting motifs, usually floral, on fine cotton or silk using gold leaves or gold dust, thus adding glitter to the fabric Sometimes, silver is used for the motifs

The telepuk cloth is believed to be introduced to the Malay peninsula by Bugis traders from Celebes, Indonesia in the 17th or 18th century.Telepuk comprises three traditional Malay craftsmanship which is weaving,  menggerus ( Where kain 'Gerus' got its name which involves a process in polishing the cloth to make it smooth) and  imprinting golden motifs ( where most of the time the material which used is a real gold itself but in a form of gold leafs that might have gone to another process or mixture to make it in a form that is practical to be imprinted onto the 'Gerus' Cloth (Polished Cloth) using carved (to what form desired) wooden moulds.

Telepuk cloth was widely used in Selangor during the reign of Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah ( 5th Sultan Of Selangor 1938-1942.) and worn by his consort, Tengku Ampuan Jemaah.besides Selangor, the fabric was also worn by the nobility in Perak and Kedah, presented as a bridal gift and worn as a wedding attire
.The ' MT ' hallmark may represents the maker's name.This was made during the age of the Telepuk popularity era between 1930's to 1940's in Selangor.

Royal Sungei Ujong Big Platter by George Jones & Sons Ltd

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tulwar Sword

This Particular Sword was used by the Sikh British Army during British Colonization
(Notice the front and back row from left ,Tulwar Sword tied at the back of the soldier's waist)

talwar (Hindi: तलवार, Panjabi: ਤਲਵਾਰ, Urdu: تلوار,) is a type of curved sword from India. Also spelled talwaar or tulwar, it is the primary weapon of gatka. As with the older khanda, the talwar is revered by Rajputs as a symbol of the god Shiva. The weapon is also used by some South Asian Shiite Muslims for tatbeer when observing Mätam on the Day of Ashura. Talwar is also an Indian and Pakistani family name.


The talwar originated with Middle Eastern swords such as the Arab saif, the Persian shamshir, the Turkish kilij and the Afghan pulwar. It was introduced to India in the 13th century by invading Muslim conquerors and was adopted by communities who favoured the sword as their main weapon, including the RajputsSikhsPunjabis, and Marathas. It became more widespread under the Mughals who fought with curved swords from horseback. The talwar may have largely replaced the unique Indian khanda as the sword of choice in medieval Indian armies. Sikh warriors sometimes wielded the khanda, a dedicated cutting sword, but only as a last resort

Josef Falk Germany Toy Maker 1930

Lying steam engine, boiler diameter 60 mm, flywheel diameter 88 mm, casting base 360 x 240 mm, 


Model steam engines enjoyed a popularity starting in the 1880's, and extended into the 1960's. These models really were not a child's toy, any more than an elaborate model train is a child's toy today. Expensive, ornate, and complex to operate, they were more of an art form, practiced for a brief period, and now virtually extinct.

Beyond mechanical sculpture, these steam engines also served as a primary information resource. Mechanical models played a greater role in the emerging industrial revolution, than they do today. They were the 19th century counterpart of film and video. In a period of time that saw dramatic change in how our civilization was powered, but no motion pictures to illustrate the complex workings of the new engines, models were a primary instructional and reference material. If you wanted to see it in action, a model was the only way, and the public was hungry for knowledge of the machines that were transforming their lives. This was the Victorian era, when anything was possible, even having a functional model of a power generating plant on your desk before you had electrical power in your house. Machines were transforming the world, and everyone but everyone wanted to be in on it.

Upwards of five million model steam engines were made during this time. Most of the finest live steam engines were made in the Nuremberg area of Germany, which had become one of the centers of precision machinery manufacturing. In this locale could be found everything mechanical, from the first pocket watch; the Nuremburg Egg, to the precision drafing instruments with which engineers were designing even greater creations. Throughout the 1800’s, Nuremburg was famous for the very elaborate mechanical clockwork models, and this talent reached its peak with the live steam models, and the toys that they powered. In Bavaria, there resided the finest metalworkers in Germany, who were in general the finest metalworkers in the world. This was no coincidence, Nuremburg is located in one of the richest mineral deposits in all of Europe, and had a ready supply of the various metals. Precision machinery was invented there, and refined to a point of excellence.

Eight major manufacturers of model steam engines conducted business in the Nuremburg area: Bing, Carette, Doll, Falk, Krauss Mohr, Marklin, Plank and Schoenner. There were a number of minor manufacturers as well; Bischoff, Eberl, Hess, HeubeckIssmayerNeumeyer, and Scholler to name a few, but none approached the major builders in either volume or variety. Fleischmann also turned out a line of steam engines during this time, but their products were much simpler than those of the Nuremburg masters. There were two major builders of elaborate steam models in France: Rossignol and Radiguet, but current prices have precluded adding examples to this collection. The trade was not limited to Germany and France: Mamod, Bowman, Burnac and others in the UK, and Jensen, Empire, Ind-X, and Weeden in the US also produced modest steam models. None matched the elegance, the variety, or the precision of the Nuremburg makers.

If there were a 'golden age' of live steam models, it would be in the 1890-1930 time frame. Around 1900, production soared, as did diversity, and continued until the early 1930s. Even in the post WW1 era, when Germany was bankrupt in the wake of the Versailles treaty, elaborate models were still in high demand. The Nuremburg makers were one of the few bright economic successes in an otherwise dismal situation.
It was not to last. Schoenner had ceased active production by 1905, though formal purchase by Falk was not completed until 1912. Carette, still a French citizen, was deported from Germany in 1917, his company taken by Karl Bub. The worst was yet to come. As the Nuremburg makers rode the post WW1 boom to success, so they followed the subsequent Depression to failure. Germany was particularly hard hit, and precision model makers were the first casualties. Only those companies that had diversified survived, and those who specialized in elaborate models: Doll, Plank, Falk, Krauss Mohr, and Bing.

Songket Sarung Palembang @ Palembang Songket Sarung Circa 1930's

This Maroon Songket Sarung was used by the Nobles of  Perak  circa 1920.Probably by Palembang Sumatran Malay  Master Weaver .

Gold Thread Songket of Perak Sumatera Circa 1920's
Size 3 ft 6 Inches x 3 ft x 3 inches
Material :Gold Thread on Cotton wool
Origins: Sumatera
Custom made and used by Perak,Malaya Nobles 

Songket Sarung Kedah @ Kedah Songket Sarung Circa 1920's

This Blue Songket Sarung was used by the Nobles of Kedah circa 1920.Probably by Sumatran Malay  Master Weaver in Kedah.


Songket is a fabric that belongs to the brocade family of textiles. It is hand-woven in silk or cotton, and intricately patterned with gold or silver threads. The metallic threads stand out against the background cloth to create a shimmering effect. In the weaving process the metallic threads are inserted in between the silk or cottonweft (latitudinal) threads. The term songket comes from the Malay/Indonesian word sungkit, which means "to hook". It has something to do with the method of songket making; to hook and pick a group of threads, and then slip the gold threads in it.[1] The word menyongket means ‘to embroider with gold or silver threads’. Songket is a luxury product traditionally worn during ceremonial occasions as sarong, shoulder cloths or head ties. Tanjak or Songket headdresses were worn at the courts of the Malay Sultanates.[2] Traditionally Muslim women and adolescent girls wove songket; "some boys and men are also weaving today".[3] Songket as king's dress was also mentioned by Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir writings 1849.[4] Traditionally-patterned Sumatran textiles embody a system of interpretable emblems.
In Indonesia, songket is produced in SumatraKalimantanBaliSulawesiLombok and Sumbawa. In Sumatra the famous songket production centers is inMinangkabau area, West Sumatra, and PalembangSouth Sumatra. In Bali, songket production villages can be found in Klungkung regency, especially at Sidemen and Gelgel village. While in the neighboring island of Lombok, the Sukarara village in Jonggat district, Central Lombok regency, is famous for songket making.[5]Outside of Indonesia, further production areas include the east coast of the Malay Peninsula[6] and Brunei.[7] Songket weaving is historically associated with areas ofMalay settlement, and the production techniques could have been introduced by Arab and Indian merchants. Historically, production was located in politically significant kingdoms because of the high cost of materials; the gold thread used was originally wound with real gold leaf.[7]