Baba Nyonya Porcelain Designs

Call it the Little Nyonya drama effect or whatever, I am totally in love with the Peranakan porcelain designs. I like this particular lure of porcelain for the reason it is a very bold expression of unconventional colors mixed with Asian inspired motifs, making a decorative ornament or household item stands out majestically and in a way, show off character! The colors of very bright pink, light jade green, mustard yellow or pale blue serves as the base overall color of teapots, tea cups, bowls, plates, vases and household use items. And motifs of huge peonies, birds and animals complete the whole arty look of the item. Compared to the more subtle white and blue hue with delicate designs of China’s porcelain which complements dark elm furniture rather than overtaking the stage in any arrangement of a room, the Peranakan designs seems to be screaming for attention and the bolder, the better. Currently I don’t own anything of this sort but if I do have the opportunity to visit Malacca or Singapore, I will definitely go hunt for something. If I cannot afford the big, I will get the small kind :).

At the meantime, I can only gawk at this coffee table book that I bought earlier this year. Titled Peranakan Chinese Porcelain, it is really generous with beautiful pictures of all sorts of housewares used in the height of the Peranakan era in the 2 places I mention. My late father was a collector of beautiful Chinese ornamental bowls, plates and scrolls and I realized that as I get older, I tend to appreciate what he saw in these antiques rather than considering them Old stuffs that are liked only by old people. It is strange on how one’s taste in colors and designs kind of changes over the decades and my own grandmother, alive and well was surprised to see me scouring everywhere for the enamel Tiffin containers used widely in the 1950s to 1970s to pack home cooked food by office and blue collar workers. Sadly, I couldn’t find even one in the market but I believe there are some more of the old-fashioned stuffs somewhere. I just have to look harder :).

Thank you to my dear friend Ling who sent me these Peranakan inspired magnets! They are so cute and I absolutely adore the Tiffin container! Gosh… I would go crazy if I ever see a real one and probably spend irrationally to get it! Anyone out there has an “old-fashioned” taste like me? I want to know!

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3 Responses to Baba Nyonya Porcelain Designs

  1. Tania Tan says:

    i love the kebaya tops…i wore one for my wedding even though i’m not peranakan 😛 absolutely adore tiffins too. i’ve got a couple of them back in SG. i’m into “old/retro” stuffs too!!

  2. lilyanette says:

    Wohoo.. Kebaya top eh?? Yes, agree, that attire really cut out to accentuate a beautiful body, not even cheongsam can do the trick!

    Oh ya, if you have any idea where to get those very old tiffins, enamel colored, powdered blue, yellow or green with more darker accent hue around the rims, let me know! I want it so badly.

  3. Tania Tan says:

    ok i’ll keep a lookout for you when i’m back in SG in summer! i love those american lunchboxes too.

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