While ancient Javanese bronze and ironwork have long elicited interest, there is a lesser-known yet equally fascinating aspect of the Indonesian island’s history: gold artifacts, including jewelry, clothing accessories, statues, coins, and containers. Not only do these objects display exceptional craftsmanship, they also provide a significant source of information on Javanese society, culture, religion, economy, technology, and art from the 1st century B.C.E. to 1500.
This revised and expanded edition of the 1990 publication Old Javanese Gold celebrates Valerie and Hunter Thompson’s 2007 gift of Javanese gold objects to the Yale University Art Gallery and the subsequent founding of the Gallery’s Department of Indo-Pacific Art. Along with entirely new photography and a fresh design, the essays in the book have been updated to incorporate recent discoveries—including the Wonoboyo Hoard, one of the most important gold hoards ever excavated in Southeast Asia.