jolantru: (steampunk)
[personal profile] jolantru
Object is a jeweled egg, set with polychromatic gems and a frame of gold, ranging from rubies to emeralds. It reminds the observer of a Faberge egg, yet object opens to present an iron filigree bird, vaguely resembling two joined Chinese phoenixes (the feng and the huang).

Weight: 100g.
Diameter: 9cm.
Height: 7cm.
Origin: Imperial China (though I suspect an artistic collaboration with the French artisan houses).

Upon closer examination, there are Chinese pictographs and Malay-Jawi words etched around the rim of the egg. I spot "Bunga Telur" (Malay-Jawi)and "The Iron Phoenix" (Chinese). The rest is gibberish: "1 + 1 = 5". Mathematics oddity, my esteemed colleagues?

I am also aware that the bunga telur is a symbol of fertility, given as tokens during Malay weddings. Why the egg has these words begs further examination.

PS: I need to go back to the pterandon bones and the silver brooch.
frangipani: old map of Southeast Asia (Nusantara)
[personal profile] frangipani
Below are excerpts from an incomplete transcript and translation of an audio recording made on one of the artifacts similar to phonograph cyclinders, playable on a mechanical device discovered earlier [note to assistant D2: cross-reference this]. The cylinder (preliminary catalogue no. SAS-1-1939-42) was stored in a sturdy wooden tube of unremarkable design, with a printed label in Jawi script pasted onto the cap of the tube. The bottom half of the label has been torn off, but a date is legible on what remained intact: 12 Muharram 1358 Hijrah (transcript). No other identifying markers were found.

Sound quality is fairly low but approximately three-quarters of the recording are intelligible. The speaker on the recording is an adult male, speaking in a language confirmed to be that of the Labuk Kadazan dialect; unfortunately the speaker utilised a number of words (loan words?) unknown to linguists C.P. and R.R.M.

Excerpt 1:
Ask your cousin if [s/he] is keeping the bambangan pickles near [his/her] [unidentified]. If [s/he] has, throw the pickles away. We will send more when the winds are right.

The hinava won't be as it is here, but wash [the?] fish in hot water. We wish we can send you good fish to where you are. Lime juice, salt, chilli as you like. Remember the sugar there is bad for your [kidneys?].
Excerpt 2:
Tomorrow [rhetorical, not literal?] you sail again into [unidentified] and bring your name to the place where all will know it. Don't trouble yourself to [jump?] upriver from the bay. Your mother and your father are young and years are short. Wherever you are, however long you take, we will wait for you at home. The time between the winds only gives you enough for this [unidentified] to find your hands, send you our affection.
geminianeyes: Cute sisters from PW as kids (Coffee is your friend)
[personal profile] geminianeyes
2 stacks of round wooden pillars found in the warehouse. Intricately carved, the styles are reminiscent of the Kedah/Kelantan woodcarver masters. One stack, with carvings of the garuda and other creatures, was found leaning against the wall. The other had geometric shapes, suggesting it was meant for an Islamic house. At least that's what the delivery sheet said (what ink did these guys use?)

Weight: 0 kg
Height: 9 feet long
Diameter: 6 inches

Closer inspection reveals a hidden compartment in just one pillar in each stack, while the rest have hidden openings designed for the insertion of what might seem a tiny vial glass tubes. All pillars have tiny holes and a hollowed centre. There's not enough holes to weaken the wood, but enough to suggest they have been drilled deliberately.

Comment: We found some glass tubes and containers nearby these stacks of wood. Judging from the old, old notice stuck on both the stacks and the glass containers, they're meant to work together. Perhaps it's a prototype perfume-releasing kind of pillars? The Garuda ones were to have been sent to a Balinese shrine I think.

Also, who took my portable weighing machine??
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