VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Pintu Pagar - 'Fence Door'
2000-03533
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

There are currently very few pieces in existence. Most pintu pagar come with very little ornamentation and carvings and are at most carved on one side. This piece is carved on both sides and has a curious mixture of Chinese and European motifs.

History of the Object
This pintu pagar is a good example of the eclectic tastes of the Peranakan Chinese. Peranakan is a Malay term that means ‘born locally’. It is largely used to refer to the descendents of early Chinese merchants and settlers that inter-married with local woman and from which evolved a unique fusion culture of predominantly Chinese, Malay and European elements. The top and middle panels of this door are decorated with auspicious Chinese symbols like the Lion-dogs, squirrels and floral displays - symbols of wealth and abundance. The panels at the bottom have classical European motifs of vases and garlands. The door’s shorter height and the intricate ‘see-through’ carvings allow ventilation and some privacy.

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Type
Architecture 
Materials
Gilded Wood (probably teak) and glass 
Measurements
H: 220 x W:114 x T:10 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Singapore 
Geography
Singapore 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
Early 20th Century 
Function
Pintu Pagar was one of the two pairs of doors at the front of a traditional Peranakan house. It was one of the first things that a visitor to a Peranakan Chinese house would see and as such it was often seen as a visible symbol denoting the wealth of the household. 
Acquisition
This piece was acquired by the ACM in the year 2000 from a private collector. It was acquired because of its size and the quality of the carvings on it. 
Copyright
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Acknowledgements
Randall Ee 
Owner
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Museum
Asian Civilisations Museum 
Credit line
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 

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