Stamford Raffles and his wayang collection
This post is about Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, his antique shadow-puppet collection and his resting place. Stamford Raffles is a well known British statesman who governs Java in the 19th century. He is known as Lieutenant Governor of Java. Raffles is also known for his rediscovery of Borobudur temple.
I can see his love of Java by looking at his fantastic collection of antique shadow puppets – currently at display at the British Museum.
Some of the shadow-puppet shown here are the property of the British Museum. Thus, all credits/copyrights should go to the British Museum.
Shadow puppet is also called ‘wayang’ in Indonesian. And most of the wayang on display here is wayang kulit – mainly made from hide (animal skin).
I love all Raffles wayang collection as they are very delicate – some come with gold leaf – and they are particularly very old: from late 1700s to early 1800s.
There are also Raffles’ gamelan on display at the British Museum:
Now as I have admired Raffles collection, I want to share his burial place too. Probably a little less known as to where Raffles resting place is. It is in a historic church in London, to be precised it is in Hendon.
Looking into his collection and his resting place, remains me of remarkable history of Java and a dedication from someone who has a passion to preserve Javanese heritage.
Maybe in the future I will be looking to read Raffles book: the History of Java, or the critical book of Raffles that my husband is reading now: