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Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum

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The Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum displays an exquisite collection of fine trinkets, clothing and furniture in a restored Peranakan mansion.

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Straits Chinese are the people born of mixed Malay and Chinese heritage, commonly in the straits settlements of Melaka, Penang and Singapore, and are also known as Peranakan. In their heyday in the late 19th century, they were a prominent and wealthy community in Melaka. Peranakans adopted Malay language and culture, blended with Chinese customs and religious beliefs, even incorporating the occasional British tradition (they were British subjects at the time). This elite sub-culture preferred an aesthetic that was opulent and colourful, with much symbolism incorporated into the design elements.

Baba bling -- we had to say it again. Photo taken in or around Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum, Melaka, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Baba bling -- we had to say it again. Photo: Sally Arnold

Straits Chinese women or “Nyonyas” typically wore batik sarongs, coupled with vibrant embroidered kabayas or more subtle and longer “baju panjang”, accessorised with elaborate filigree jewellery often dripping with precious stones. Gold, silver and “suasa” (rose gold), an alloy of gold and copper considered to hold protective powers, would be worked with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, pearls and jade to create mini works of art often with flower-like motives.

The museum's collection is spread over two floors, with the main jewellery collection upstairs. The exhibits lack informative labels, so displays appear more like an antique jewellery store than a museum, however your ticket includes a personal guide who can offer good explanations, although ours wasn’t forthcoming with much information unless we ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum
108 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka
Mon–Thurs 09:30–15:00, Fri–Sun 10:00 to 18:00.
T: (06) 281 9763
Admission: Adults 15 ringgit, children 10 ringgit.

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