Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, literally means “river of diamonds”. For many centuries, Borneo was a source of diamonds for early Indian and Arab merchants, and later, European trading companies. From a small diamond deposited in a temple in Kedah around the 9th or 10th century to annual tributes to the Chinese emperor in the 17th century, subjects of this talk will include the history of Borneo’s diamonds and the use of this precious gem throughout the world. A short discussion on dating, setting, and cutting styles of diamond-set ornaments on display in ACM's Jewellery gallery will follow.
About the speaker
Dr Jack Ogden is a jewellery historian specialising in the study of early jewellery materials and techniques. He has written and lectured widely, and his most recent book is Diamonds: An Early History of the King of Gems (2018). He is currently Visiting Professor in Ancient Jewellery Materials & Technology School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University (UK). He is President of the Society of Jewellery Historians, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
About the Discussant
Naomi Wang received her BA in Art History from University of Toronto and is ACM Curator for Southeast Asia. At ACM, she has co-curated Raffles in Southeast Asia: Revisiting the Scholar and Statesman and Port Cities: Multicultural Emporiums of Asia, 1500–1900, and curated the recently opened Jewellery gallery.
Welcome address by Kennie Ting
Director, Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum
ACMtalks brings leading scholars in conversation with curators at ACM to explore our core curatorial themes” maritime trade, faith & belief, and materials & design. These lectures and discussions will illuminate aspects of the museum’s collection strengths in export art and sacred objects, as well as Asian fashion and textiles, lacquer and silver, jewellery, and ceramics. Webinars take place on the third Thursday of every month, from 7 to 8 pm, Singapore Standard Time (UTC+08)
Image: Set of fasteners (kerongsang). Straits Settlements, late 19th or early 20th century. Gold, diamonds. National Museum of Singapore, GL-0022
ACMtalks is supported by Kris Foundation
Kris Foundation is a non-profit initiative set up in 2009 by Kris Tan. The Foundation is dedicated to empowering young classical musicians in Singapore and the region through its scholarships, support of arts organisations and signature concert series.