19 April 2014: Straits Chinese Gold Jewellery

Showcases the Penang Nyonya’s passion for her rich heritage and all things beautiful.

straits-7We are happy to present the latest addition to our catalogue – Straits Chinese Gold Jewellery. Lavishly illustrated and well written, this is one book you will enjoy reading. To purchase, please visit our website or drop by our bookstore. Thank you!

From time immemorial, gold’s versatility, durability and beauty gave it an edge above all other metals. Gold could be shaped into a variety of designs, from chunky bracelets to filigreed brooches. Its longevity immortalized the colorful cultures and histories of some of the most glorious civilizations – Egyptians, Byzantine and Renaissance. Designers of early Straits Chinese jewellery too, recognized the qualities of gold and used the precious metal as a foundation, providing a canvas to work their skills and a pedestal for other precious stones to be mounted on. Each uniquely crafted piece held the mystery of the individual who owned it, and embraced an era in Baba history that is quite unmatched in craftsmanship and beauty. The influences behind Peranakan jewellery were drawn from the rich and beautiful cultures of the Chinese, Malay, Arab, British India, Portuguese, Dutch and Victorian England.

straits-2Straits Chinese Gold Jewellery expresses the beauty, culture, history and heritage of the Straits Chinese through their jewellery.

The author, a Penang Nyonya, has done a splendid job in providing the meaning, history and story of the jewelleries depicted — day-to-day adornments as well as the more ornate and baroque pieces that only make special appearances at weddings and other significant occasions. Although much research has obviously gone into the presentation, the information provided is not overwhelmingly pedantic. Whether one’s interest lies in jewellery, culture or history, this book has something for everyone.  It is available now from Areca Books.