This is very fine albeit badly damaged Batik Tulis from old Solo c 1910-1930. There are several topics of debate about this kind of batik tulis (1) The popular but misleading term "burnt coffee" that is often used (at times unethically) by the trading community (and not by the batik tulis craft community) and associated with the kind of dark brown sogan (brown) background which might originally be darker as there might be a level of fading through the years. (2) It is also a debate whether we can in fact date batik tulis from this area by the colouring of their brown sogan background alone. Some argued that you can't, and that one must look for clues in their penmanships and the colouring in the foreground as well. (3) The other thing that is up for contention is the term "3 Negeri", as the term "3 Negeri" was recorded as being coined by the first generation Tjoa batik makers, Tjoa Giok Tjiam, around 1910, but there are in existence a lot of those which are made in similar manner and colours before this period and are unsigned, such as this one. One thing is for sure, the quality of their penmanship is undisputed. This type of batik tulis is currently very highly sought after within the Indonesian collectors community.
CONDITION: It has large areas of repairs, very visible ink blots, and some moth holes.
HISTORY OF RESCUE: It was sold and advertized as material for bag making.... I was appalled, made an offer, and purchased it for $550. In mint condition, this particular piece would sell in today's collector's market for over $2000. NOTE ON CONTEXT OF RESCUE: Many many many more of much finer work than this and in pristine and mint condition have been thrown to the chopping blocks and are now handbags and a variety of other vanity items made with high exposure to wear, sun, sweat, oil, dust dirt, rub and frictions. This type of batik is becoming rare in an alarming rate, and in only the last 3 months it has gone from rare to almost impossible to find.