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Provenance of the Prankemon sarongs

Publication ‘Provenance #4’ by Wereldmuseum (former NMvW) is out now!

“Carolina Josephina von Franquemont (1817-1867) is a prominent name within the batik textile community. She is seen as the first Indo-European to run a batik workshop around 1850 in the small village of Ungaran near Semarang on Java, Indonesia. Different researchers wrote about her, mentioning that she was known under the local nickname ‘Prankemon’ and was famous for a colourfast, naturally dyed green colour. Von Franquemont did not sign her batiks, but over time numerous batiks from several collections have been attributed to Von Franquemont, as they are thought to have been made by her or made in her batik workshop. Many of these attributions were made within the holdings of the umbrella organisation the Wereldmuseum and other ascriptions are based on the batiks kept at these Dutch museums. Since 2017, I have been researching this batik legacy to find out who Von Franquemont was, and which batiks were actually made by her. This article explores more on the provenance and mythmaking around Von Franquemont. It lays out my findings of the past five years.”

Provenance #4 is out now! Read more about how batiks were attributed to Von Franquemont with very limited provenance, how mistakes entered the story about her life and got repeated over and over again, and read about the batiks that I could link directly to Caroline Josephina von Franquemont’s family.

Read it online here: