I am often asked how I know what to look for. I also hear questions such as: what makes this batik worth $200 and this one worth $2000? There are many variables to consider when evaluating a piece of batik. Maker/workshop/atelier, workmanship, form, when during period it was produced, quality of materials used, and the condition of the piece are the main consideration. The more you study a piece, the more you will see and understand. Reading and comprehending the researches that have been done is very important. However, experiencing examples in person is the most essential.
The maker is one of important factors in determining the quality of a batik. A prominent batikmaker such as Nyai Bei Mardusari has been considered by nearly every authority on batik movement to be a leader for the period. Iwan Tirta, a well-known batik designer mentioned in his book that she was the best batikmaker. He noted that no one does the finer work like Nyai Bei Mardusari. You can view her extremely fine work on this blog.