Pending
Dimensions

98 x 66 mm

27 mm high

Weight

34 grams

Materials

Silver

Origin

Tangerang, West Java

Indonesia

Dating

19th century

Price €250, -

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Introduction

The Peranakan or “Straits Chinese” are descendants of Chinese settlers throughout Maritime Southeast Asia who, mixed with local cultural elements formed a very own distinct culture. In West Java, wealthy Peranakan women often wore a specific type of belt buckle called pending. These pending had two main varieties, the smooth pending polos and the pending poohwa which were adorned with small figures and plants that were soldered on.1   

These pending were prized possessions and were kept in the family as heirlooms. When a family struck poverty, the pending was one of the last items that the woman would sell.2

 

Notes to introduction
1. J.E. Jasper en Mas Pirngadie; De inlandsche kunstnijverheid in Nederlandsch Indië. ‘s-Gravenhage, Mouton & co., 1912-1916. Page 211.
2. Ibid. Page 201.

 

This buckle

A good example of a pending polos made out of silver sheet. It is decorated with bands of floral motifs that appear in relief, they were worked in repousse and then chiseled and punched to further detail from the front. On the inside is a wire bent in two loops.

 

Attributions

This exact style of belt buckles was produced in Tangerang, located just West of Batavia, now Jakarta.1

From Jasper & Pirngadie;

Pending poowah

 

My translation:

"Fig. 302. Six different buckles from West-Java
Upper, left to right: 1. A silver oval totog (buckle) with silver flower decoration, and beset with mata jakut (false diamonds). Batavia. 2. A pending, bellyband plate with repousse border and star in the center. Tangerang. 3. A pending poohwa with figures soldered on. Tangerang.
Lower, left to right: 1. A pending poohwa, like former. 2. A pending. 3. A pending poohwa."
 

 

Javanese dancer wearing her belt

This striking image shows a Javanese dancer wearing a 
pending much like the upper left example in Jasper & Pirngadie.
Photo by Cassian Céphas, circa 1867-1910.
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, accession number RP-F-2001-17-73.

 

Examples in museums

See among others Amsterdam Tropenmuseum accession numbers TM-2160-244TM-1492-7

 

Notes
1. J.E. Jasper en Mas Pirngadie; De inlandsche kunstnijverheid in Nederlandsch Indië. ‘s-Gravenhage, Mouton & co., 1912-1916. Page 211.

 

Peranakan or Straits Chinese belt buckle called pending polo
Peranakan or Straits Chinese belt buckle called pending polo
Peranakan or Straits Chinese belt buckle called pending polo
Peranakan or Straits Chinese belt buckle called pending polo
Peranakan or Straits Chinese belt buckle called pending polo

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