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Jakarta Post

The tarnished future of Kotagede silver

  • Yuliantoro

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Fri, December 11 2009   /  10:22 am

Rare skill: Marni, 25, from Kotagede, Yogyakarta, applies herself to making jewellery, in Salim Silver’s workshop, in Oct. 2009. JP/YuliantoroKotagede’s fame as a silver town is not limited to Indonesia, but is evenly spread throughout the world. In the 18th century, the Mataram Palace appointed Kotagede as a silver handicraft center to meet the palace’s needs. Consequently the fine art work and engraving produced in the town have been complex and of high quality.The silver handicrafts of Kotagede experienced their peak when they went international in the 1930s. This was largely thanks to Mrs Mary Agnes Van Gesseler Versvir, the wife of the Dutch East Indies governor who exercised power in Yogyakarta from 1929 to 1932. The Dutchwoman was so impressed with Kotagede silver handicrafts that she ordered many to be sent to the Netherlands. Drs Pim Westerkamp MA, the curator of Southeas...