A journey to search my soul

This is a blog of my personal collections. The purpose of this blog is to educate myself and public in regards to antiquities especially related to religion and calligraphy. I welcome everyone to input their feedback in this blog which they think would be helpful. I do not watermark the photos in this blog so everyone is free to use them as long as they are not used for illegal and unethical reasons. I appreciate if you could notify me if you plan to use any of the photos here. Enjoy browsing!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ancient Artifact Review 05 : Antique Malay Jawi Plate (1819-1864 CE)

This is a priceless antique English plate decorated with Malay / Jawi motif & pantun (poems). This plate was manufactured by Williams Adams & Sons company sometime between 1819 CE to 1864 CE. This company was established in the early nineteenth century and great supplier of wares to India & the Far East. The trademark can be seen at the bottom of this plate, written W. Adams And Son under a medallion inside which is inscribed the name of the motif viz MALAY.
"The plate was printed using the process of transfer-printing, which was first used in England around 1750. The design is engraved on a metal plate, then impressed on a thin piece of paper, and transferred to the surface of the pottery or porcelain."

The pantun inscribed on the rims written :
" Suka makan di piring ini,
suatu di ambil dengan jankanya,
kalau suka membeli piring begini,
Anderson Tolson oleh yang punya"

Anderson Tolson is probably a retailing firm in Batavia.
The pantun inscribed 8 lines converging to the centre written :

1) Jikalau boleh kita ingatkan
2) Tertib dan sopan baik kerjakan
3) Jalan istiadat dipeliharakan
4) Supaya jangan membinasakan
5) Tertib suatu itu penghulu
6) Kerna pakaian orang dahulu
7) Barang pekerjaan benar terlalu
8) Masyhur namanya orang pun malu

There is an interesting research & article written by Henri Chambert-Loir from Almanac Indonesia & The Malay World in regards to the this type of plate. It was quite extensive research and dug further to its origin and its design. The handwriting print on this plate belongs to Khatib Muharis. Even though his name is not printed on this plate, there are others with the same handwriting bearing his name. Diameter of this plate is 27cm
Nonetheless the article doesnt have any reference to the 8 poem lines in my plate. Does it mean the plate is rare? If you find any similar plate with the same 8 poetic lines anywhere, please let me know. I would be interested where else has the same plate.

Also thanks to A.N for helping me out figuring out some indechiperable words on this plate.

Reference :
Eating the text : English plates decorated with Malay poems, by Henri Chambert-Loir ( published in Indonesia & The Malay World 1994)

Crescent Moon : Islamic Art & Civilisation South East Asia, pg 78


  1. Dear Abu Dervish,

    From my observation and years of looking for malay artifacts to add in my collection, this pantun plate is really rare. State museums through out Peninsula Malaysia don't have this kind of plate in their collection, except Sarawak State museum, only one pantun plate made by J. Hawley. Only Malay Heritage Museum, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, have 8 different plates made by W.Adams & Sons and J.Hawley. In Medan, an antique dealer that I've met have 20 of this plate and refuse to sell all the plates, not even one. He told me, it's his retirement fund. Maybe because of its rarity. Please call the museum curator, Ms Khairul Nishak Harun, at 03-89468939, during office hours, if you are interested to see all the plates in the museum collection.

  2. Dear Orang Semenda,
    Terima Kasih on the feedback. Insyallah I will try to be in contact with Ms Khairul once I am back to Malaysia this Raya. Do you have your collections in any website?

  3. Assalamualaikum sya nk tnya bole

  4. I am researching a similar plate with a different inscription but I can't read the four lines in Malay in the center and I don't think I see the same text on other prints in Chambert-Loir's article. Do you know a good source for finding out what it says?

    1. Send me the pic to my email and I can try to identify

  5. Hi, I have two plates that were passed down to me by my late-father. I am wondering what are the inscriptions on the middle of the plate. Is it possible that you can translate for me?

  6. Hi Darvish, i'm Indonesian and i found some example of 8 line pantun ceramics in Sunan Bonang Tomb, Tuban, East Java. I only found 3 example different pantun ceramics

  7. hi, i've find some pinggan pantun in museum sultan alam shah, malaysia