Straits Chinese: Silver


Publisher: Times Editions
$299.00

This title is part of Robert Yeo’s First Editions, it was published in 1984.

Hindu-Islamic in shape and function, yet strangely characteristic of the Chinese in emblem and decorative design, Straits Chinese silver is an unusual product of two cultural traditions, Though having none of the quiet elegance of old Malay silver, the ornamental beauty of Straits silverwork is particularly striking and has an appeal of its own.

This exquisite workmanship was however never attributed to the local Chinese silversmith until the early seventies. In fact, during the late nineteenth century, large quantities of Straits Chinese silver were being fabricated in small towns in Malaya and Singapore by local Chinese silversmiths, immigrants from mainland China. These articles were made for the Straits Chinese community, and especially for the nonyas.

Of pertinent interest in this book is the informations, clearly given, with regard to the usage of these articles of Straits Chinese silver. Buntal plates, buckles nonya hairpins resembling ear-picks, intricate pieces of jewellery, and sire sets, amongst numerous other items, are all exclusive to the peranakans. Descriptions of each of these categories brings the reader to an intimate understanding of the Straits Chinese lifestyle. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to record this for posterity, as Straits Chinese silver is fast becoming a rarity. Just as the customs and traditions are slowly but surely being displaced by Westernization and other social factors, it will only be a matter of time before the art of Straits silverwork disappears altogether.

To highlight this collector’s volume are over 130 illustrations, captioned in refreshing detail, about 90 of which have been reproduced in full colour. The stunning collection shown here is representative of the finest of Straits Chinese silver to be seen anywhere in present-day Malaysia and Singapore, and covers the entire inventory of Straits silverwork.

ISBN: 9971650754
Cover Type: Hardcover
Page Count: 192
Year Published: 1984
Language: English

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