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Textile

late 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Textile of rectangular silk with a ground of black squares with a stylised floral motif brocaded in gilt thread in the centre. Green, yellow and white stripes in the warp direction, and broad red borders inside one black row of squares forming a rectangle.

Object details

Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Brocaded silk with gilt thread
Brief description
Rectangular textile of brocaded silk with gilt thread, Malay Peninsula, late 19th century
Physical description
Textile of rectangular silk with a ground of black squares with a stylised floral motif brocaded in gilt thread in the centre. Green, yellow and white stripes in the warp direction, and broad red borders inside one black row of squares forming a rectangle.
Dimensions
  • Length: 74.5cm
  • Width: 72.5cm
Credit line
Given by Miss D. Wray
Object history
Cecil Wray was born in 1850, son of Leonard Hume Wray, a planter in Perak, and brother of Leonard Wray (1852-1942). According to his daughter Dorothy, Cecil and Leonard went to Malaya in 1877 to look at the remains of their father’s sugar plantation that was struck by a disease. Later both of them joined the Public Works Department of the Perak Civil Service in 1881. Cecil was stationed in Perak for 10 years before he was appointed British Resident of Pahang in 1904. Leonard founded and ran the first museum in Malaysia, the Taiping Museum (now Perak State Museum in Taiping) in 1883 and later became Director of Museums in 1904-8. He was also responsible for collecting the Perak exhibits for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886. In the early days they did a good deal of exploration in Perak. Cecil was always a keen collector and was very fond of the Malays and very interested in their art and culture. He had acquired an enormous amount of things as well as silver.

His silver collection comprising over 150 pieces (Choo, 1984:4), some of which were sold to the Raffles Museum before he returned back to the UK in 1908. His silver collection was then on loan to the Bankfield Museum in Halifax. Many pieces are illustrated in Henry Ling Roth’s Oriental Silverwork, Malay and Chinese first published in 1910.

Cecil died in 1946 aged 95. Dorothy Wray inherited his father’s collection and later offered 101 items of Malay silver including five textiles as gifts to the V&A on 19 September 1975 (Museum numbers, IS.40 to 140-1975.) She also gave a number of books, photographs and pamphlets relating to Malaysia and Wray’s career to the Museum and the British Library in 1976. She passed away in 1979.
Collection
Accession number
IS.43-1975

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Record createdJune 25, 2009
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