Victorian Mahogany Sideboard,
Dressing Cabinet, Display Cabinet, Chairs
The wealthy Straits Chinese were steadfast Anglophiles, and were great admirers and collectors of English styled furniture. Victorian-era pieces, made up of a mixture of styles ranging from gothic to rococo revival were particular favourites, appealing to the Straits Chinese love of highly intricate, ornamental and decorative furnishings. These sideboard, cabinets and chairs reflect the typical pieces of the period.
Epergne, late 18th Century
These elaborate glass epergnes served as table centrepieces, holding flowers, sweetmeats and candles. Originally made from silver and brass in England and France in the early 1700s, later epergnes were made from glass, tinted with metal oxides and other minerals. Depending on the amount of additives used, the glass would become opaque, and around the late 1800s this opalescent glass became known as ‘Vaseline glass’ due to its resemblance to the popular petroleum jelly. These delicate and beautiful epergnes with their myriad colours were a popular collectors’ item in wealthy Straits Chinese households..
Rare & Finest Chinese Ivory carving
“VIRTUE OF BUDDHA HEAD” date Qing period of (Ch’en Lung NienChih marks 1736-95).
Straits Chinese Porcelain Tableware
Also popularly called ‘Nonya Ware’, these distinctive pieces reflect the Straits Chinese love of elaborate, colourful patterns. The functional yet beautiful dinner and tea sets were usually commissioned from artisanal makers in China, and popular motifs for everyday items included flowers and birds. Items for weddings, worship and festive occasions were also commissioned; these had auspicious dragon and phoenix symbols for good luck.
Porcelain Piano Babies /
Porcelain Figurines ca. 19th Century
In Victorian times, piano babies were popular decorative pieces which were placed on upright pianos or mantels, some serving as weights to keep silk covers from slipping off the pianos. Many were made in Germany, a major producer of fine ceramics at the time. These exquisite bisque porcelain figurines had artistic sculpting and lifelike facial expressions, and were beloved by collectors. The production of these piano babies and figurines were halted at the outbreak of the first World War and, as a consequence, originals such as these are now very rare.
Dated a hundred years ago, lacquerware has been an art form in China, Japan and Southeast asia. The process varies from place to place, but generally lacquer from tree sap is applied many times onto a lightweight wood or woven or plated bamboo or horsehair. The lacquered surface is usually decorated with painting, carving or inlay. One traditional approach has been gold leaf applied to black lacquered surface.
The altar Box shown above is painted with scenes of Chinese life and calligraphy circa late 19th Century.
No.72, Jalan A.S Mansor (Off Transfer Road), 10050 Penang.
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