William Marsden F.R.S., 1780.
In the recent past more attention has been given to the filigree production in South East Asia and especially West Sumatra. This area had been under the control and protection of the Dutch United East India company (V.O.C.) since 1663. The VOC had their headquarters in Batavia, modern day Jakarta and from the end of the seventeenth century onward, the production of filigree in the region and its trade with Europe increased, becoming one of the main products of export (for several examples and an extensive discussion on the subject see Veenendaal 2014, p.133).
The West Sumatran filigree is quite distinctive from that produced in the rest of Asia, and is characterised by "curls of thread...generally interspersed with little ovals. The arrangement looks like a tiny plant with two leaves and a flower" (Veenendaal 2014).
For an extensive study of filigree produced in Sumatra, see the catalogue note of a turbo shell cup and stand with parcel-gilt silver filigree and Lazurite reserves, attributed to China or Sumatra, circa 1680-1720, sold in these rooms, 4 July 2018, lot 11.
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