1803 or 1804

Some uncertainty existed about the exact date of Engelhard’s discovery of the Singosari temple. In 1903 it was concluded that the date was 1804, on the basis of a letter by Commissary General Du Bus de Ghisignies, dated 1827, where he writes that two statues, about to be shipped to the Netherlands, belong to a temple in the Malang district that was discovered in 1804.

In 1939 Jessy Blom, however, concluded that it was 1803. This was based on a letter by Engelhard himself, also from 1827. Engelhard writes: “De ses beelden die in mijn bezit geweest zijn, reeds voor de komst van Docter Horsfield op Java, zijn uit een Tempel in 1803 ontdekt, in de wildernissen van Malang […]” [The six statues that were in my possession, already before the arrival of Docter Horsfield on Java, are from a temple discovered in the wilderness of Malang in 1803]

Letter from Engelhard to Reuvens (PDF), 1827 (ublwhs, bpl 885), courtesy of Leiden University Library