Antiques and Art in Indonesia

A very Rich cultural Heritage, 

Early 20th C corner cupboard: Sonokeling Rosewood.

Antique Indonesian mother of pearl inlaid trunks, 19th C.

Wardrobe/Cupboard, .prob. 1rst H. 19th C, Neo Classic style with barley twist doors, Ambon sutra rosewood, knock down furniture in 7 pieces, without screws or nails. Dim. H 188 x W 158 x D 54 cm 

Round dining table, Regency style, 2nd H. of 19th C. Table top :one single piece of Ambon sutra rosewood, just fixed to the foot by wooden pegs.

Dim H 78 cm Top diam. 130 cm.Brass lion paws feet.

Dresser with 6 drawers, end 19th C.Ambon rosewood  Dim. H 125 x W 106 x D 55 cm

Cupboard, Empire style, 1870-1880, Sonokeling and Ambon sutra rosewood, knock down furniture in 9 pieces incl. pillars Dim H 164 x W 104 x D 55 cm  

Empire style Cupboard.two drawers, 1860-1870, ebony. sonokeling and Ambon Sutra rosewood. Dim. H 201 x W 158 x D 66 cm

Chest with 3 drawers.Dutch Colonial, bombe style front, 2nd Half  19th C. carved feet in ebony, sonokeling  wood and probably nangka the  yellow hard and resistant jackfruit wood (artocarpus heterophyllus) popular in Indonesia for fine furniture and carvings. Dim. H 73 x W 85 cm x D. 43 cm

Drop leaf table/desk with 2 drawers, Raffles style,  1880-1890, Ambon sutra rosewood and sonokeling wood. Dim H 70 x L 120 (88 (closed) x  W 71 cm   

Quite unique Betawi trunk, with carved Christian scenes (many Betawi people were Christians of varied origins such as Chinese, Ambonese or Portuguse ). The rich  intricate patterns and the original colours are  in perfect condition. Teak Wood. Dating difficult to estimate but probably end 18th / first half 19th C. Dim. H 53 x L 93.5 x W 70 cm

Elegant cupboard, defined as Portuguese style, around mid 19th C. with barley twist doors, Ambon sutra rosewood, knock down furniture in 7 pieces.without  screws, or nails

Dim. H. 188 x D 58 cm.  

Sonokeling rosewood cupboard   

4 chairs from the same period

Empire style cupboard, two drawers, 1860-1870. Ebony, sonokeling and  Ambon rosewood Dim. H 201 x W 158 x D. 66 cm

Knockdown furniture in 9 pieces (nos screws, no nails).‚Äč

Regency style table / desk with one drawer,  approx.1860. Table top one single piece of  sonokeling rosewood. Brass lion paws feet. Dim. H 76 x L 150 x W. 89 cm

Drop leaf dining table, Hepplewhite style, early 19th C..Ebony top, sonokeling and Ambon rosewood.

Dim. H. 76.5 x Full L 140 (57 closed) x B. 89 cm  sold

In the 60- 80's the most knowledgeable expert in antique furniture  was an old Chinese gentleman, Mr. Tan. An experienced  cabinetmaker  he had been in charge of the restoration of  Museum Fatahillah furniture. Upon retirement he had opened a small shop in Kota, downtown Jakarta.  We were very fortunate to be introduced early to him by a Dutch friend, born in Indonesia, and during a dozen years we returned again and again to admire Mr. Tan collection of beautiful antique furniture.

Holland and briefly England, occupied Indonesia from the 17th to the 20th Century. The country had a large population of fairly wealthy foreigners and an important Chinese community. Therefore the demand for quality furniture was considerable and the local precious wood allowed the making of extremely beautiful and elegant pieces, based on the prevailing European fashion.

Initially Mr. Tan only exposed and sold precious wood antiques pieces mostly from the 17th to the 19th century, handmade locally by expert cabinetmakers.

During this period  the precious wood used was essentially the dark wood Ebony, and

then what was called "Kayu Sono" = Sonokeling (Dalbergia latifolia) a dark, very hard wood  also called East Indian Rosewood or Palisander. The third wood was what Mr. Tan called "Kayu Ambon Sutra or Amboyna"  (Pterocarpus Indicus) a beautiful golden yellow to reddish brown  Rosewood. Ambon was the first Indonesian territory occupied by the Dutch  in 1605, thus the name Amboyna continued to be used for this precious wood from where it initially came.

Today the name Amboyna (or Amboyna burl) is mostly used for the knot clusters of the tree, a very precious wood used exclusively for veneer or small objects.

Mr. Tan always insisted that only large and very old trees were providing the required hardness and quality and that none existed any more  in the 20th century.

Later when it became impossible to find antique pieces Mr. Tan started producing beautifully crafted copies in mahogany.


Secretary/cupboard, Empire style, late 19th C. sonokekimg and Ambon rosewood.

Dim. H 145 x W 104 x D 49 cm (closed) .  

Side/lamp tripod table, end 19th C, sonokeling rosewood. Dim. .H 75 x L  67 x B. 45 cm.

Unusual, very elegant console, possibly French Restoration style, 1rst H. 19th C. Ambon sutra rosewood

Dim. H 69 x W 94 x D 40 cm

Large storage trunk, East Indies colonial style, late 18th,early 19th C, Sonokeling and Ambon  sutra rosewood.  

Empire style cupboard with 4 drawers, ebony, sonokeling and Ambon sutra rosewood, 19th. C   

Imported Lenzkirch bracket clock, Germany, end 19th C. Walnut and gilt metal. 

Antique Indonesian Chinese (Betawi ?) style chest of drawers, prob. early 20th C .

Beautifully carved antique Madura trunk

Exceptional betel /cigar box.Dutch Colonial style, end 17th C. Amboyna burl wood and sterling silver..

D 19 x 12.5x 8.5 cm  

Staartklok, 2nd H. 19 th C. H. 125 cm (V). 

Large wardrobe, Empire style, end 19th C.

Ambon sutra rosewood

Dim. H 213 x 175 x 58 cm