VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Kamcheng - Covered Jar
1996-01025
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

There were very few pieces like these that were ever commissioned as most were done by only the wealthiest Peranakan families. This is a very fine oversized piece that was used during auspicious occasions like weddings and birthdays. Despite its age, it is still in mint condition.

History of the Object
Kamchengs are one of the most recognisable examples of Peranakan Chinese porcelain because they were found in almost every Peranakan Chinese household (many of them being family heirlooms). Peranakan Chinese porcelain is known locally as nonyaware (the nonya being a female Peranakan Chinese) because they were commissioned and used by the nonyas in their houses. Peranakan Chinese porcelain wares were manufactured in China and exported for use by the Peranakan Chinese in the British Straits Settlements. This is a very fine oversized piece that was commissioned by a wealthy Peranakan family for use during auspicious occasions like weddings and birthdays.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Porcelain 
Measurements
D. 30 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province, China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
19th Century -20th Century; (Guangxu reign period: 1875 – 1908) 
Function
Kamchengs were primarily used as serving containers by the Peranakan Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia for desserts and drinks during auspicious occasions like weddings and birthdays. 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. 
Acquisition
This piece was a gift from the late Mrs. Khoo Soo Beow to the ACM. A kamcheng of this size is rare – this one belonged to the family of Mrs. Khoo Soo Beow. The family comes from Penang, Malaysia . 
Copyright
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Acknowledgements
Randall Ee 
Owner
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Museum
Asian Civilisations Museum 
Credit line
Gift of Mrs. Khoo Soo Beow Collection of Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 

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