Top 20 Highlights

Beadwork tablecloth Beadwork tablecloth

Over a million glass beads make up this tablecloth, the largest known example of Peranakan beadwork. It was probably used on a round table because of the circular arrangement of motifs in the centre.

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Altar sideboard Altar sideboard

This is a rare example of a sideboard that was used by a Peranakan Chinese family in Singapore as a domestic altar. What makes it unusual is the painting of the Christian Holy Family – Christ and his parents, Mary and Joseph – installed at the centre.

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Wedding beds (Ranjang kahwain) Wedding beds (Ranjang kahwain)

These two beds are ornately carved with fertility symbols and auspicious motifs, including phoenixes, peonies, and the Daoist Eight Immortals. During the wedding, the beds would be decorated with matching sets of embroidered textiles.

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Pair of trays Pair of trays

The shape of these pagoda trays is quite rare. The exchange of wedding gifts was a lavish affair for wealthy Peranakan families. These trays would be used in a grand procession of servants bearing symbolic gifts to be exchanged.

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Altar cloth: Phoenixes, dragons, and letters Altar cloth: Phoenixes, dragons, and letters

Altar cloths, or tok wi (zhuowei, 桌帏), the Peranakan term, are hung over the front of altar tables during occasions such as weddings, funerals, and feast days. Dragons, phoenixes, and crabs are traditional Chinese symbols that decorate the cloths.

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