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Pair of pillow ends

Pair of pillow ends

  • Place of origin:

    Malaysia (made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, chased and repoussé

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir Richard O. Winstedt KBE, CMG

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This pair of octagonal pillow ends is decorated with an eight-pointed star, a common motif in Islamic architecture. It is formed by a square interlocking with a lozenge. These decorative plaques were sewn to the ends of pillows that furnished the seats and beds of the royal family and of wealthy nobles.

Physical description

Pair of octagonal pillow ends (muka bantal), of silver with chased and repoussé eight-pointed star, floral and leaf designs.

Place of Origin

Malaysia (made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Silver, chased and repoussé


Diameter: 11.3 cm

Object history note

Sir Richard Olaf Winstedt (1878-1966), colonial administrator and Malay scholar, educated at Magdalen College School and at New College, Oxford. After retired from Malayan Civil Service in 1935 he was appointed lecturer and then reader in Malay at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.

He started as a Cadet in the Federated Malay States civil service in 1902 and was posted to Perak where he studied Malay language and culture. He spent 10 years in Perak and wrote four books in a government-published series called “Papers on Malay Subjects”.

In 1909 he wrote about Malay Industries: Arts and Crafts with a chapter on Malay gold and silver. It was during his time in Perak that he met fellow colleague, R.J. Wilkinson, a distinguished Malay scholar, also a collector of Malay silverware.

In 1912, due to ill health he took home leave and returned back to London. On 11 June 1912 Winstedt lent his collection of 68 examples of Malay silversmiths’ work and weapons that he collected in Perak in 1902-12, for exhibition at the V&A for a period of 12 months. The loan had then been extended and finally Winstedt offered his whole collection to the Museum as gifts in 1958
(museum numbers, IS.28 to 81-1958).

Descriptive line

Pair of pillow ends (muka bantal), silver with chased and repoussé ornaments, Malaysia, 19th century




Chased; Repoussé


Metalwork; Silver


South & South East Asia Collection

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