A Touch of Peranakan Textiles

When intricate motifs and exquisite fabrics come together.

As we edge closer to the upcoming ‘Treasures of the Peranakan World & Straits Chinese’ asset auction by Henry Butcher Asset Auctioneers, this article takes a look at several lots on offer, with a focus on textile and beadworks.

Baba-Nonya textile, like its porcelain, is varied and purposeful – whether it be for personal, family or ritual use. One can also see the many influences that the culture draws from – their original Chinese culture, the native Malay culture as well as European design features can be found in Peranakan textiles.

The hybridisation of cultures also transfers to the wardrobe. For instance, Swiss voile or English cotton serves as the base of the nonya kebaya, while the baba’s western attire comprises European materials.

LOT 76

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IRISH CARPET OF THE NYONYAS – 1900

Circa 1900

Peranakan Peacock carpet. This so called Irish carpet is of a typically popular type with the Peranakans at the turn of the century and into the early 20th century. It blends classical Victorian aesthetics in the design with the heady colours favoured by the Peranakans and Victorians to brighten up their home interiors. These carpets are products of the trade links with the Great British East Indies Company and British India where the Anglophile Maharajahs and the Court have a similarly exotic taste for colonial products and style.

Carpets with peacocks like these were totally complementary with the English peacock accent tiles that are often used at the front walls of the Peranakan home.

Good condition

Dimensions: 71” (180.5 cm) width x 54” (137 cm) height

RM 2,500 – 3,000

 

Lot 80

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BRIDAL BED CURTAIN – UNUSUAL MIRROR IMAGE PAIR

Circa 1920

The bridal bed was the main focus of the marriage ceremony. This handsome pair combines on each side a technique of tekad (raise spin embroidery) on the top panel and kelinkan, a double sided flat thread embroidery on the pink voile curtain purportedly used by Chitty Peranakans, some Chinese based Peranakans and Malays of Malacca in the harmonious mix of the 20’s to 40’s.

The tekad techniques and basket weave is also used in the shoes of the Nyonyas

Good condition

Dimensions: 26 in. (66 cm) width x 77 in. (195.5 cm) height

RM 8,000 – 8,500

 

LOT 83

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AN EXTREMELY RARE & IMPORTANT PERANAKAN KAIN KOTAK

Early 20th century, Malacca

This rectangular, four-tiered, multi-coloured Peranakan embroidered tasseled cover used in the final journey of an important member of the Peranakan community in the Malaya Straits Settlements is an extremely rare surviving piece used to cover the coffin from that era; and constitutes an important cultural treasure of the Peranakan world.

Dimensions:

119 in (302.5 cm) long x 72 in (183 cm) wide

RM 28,800 – 33,000

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For more information on the upcoming auction, click here.

For the online catalogue to view all of the lots, click here.

 

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