VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Star brooch
2002-00314
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Presently, brooches or kerosang of this quality and condition are very rare. Such pieces would have been specially commissioned by the wealthiest Peranakan for events such as weddings. With the decline of fortunes among some Peranakan familes, pieces such as these were at times sold of to private collectors or even melted down for cash.

History of the Object
This brooch is set with ninety-three brilliant cut diamonds in the shape of a star (bintang). The central element can be separated from the rest of the brooch, suggesting that it could have been worn as a button, cuff link, or possibly an earring. Or it could have been part of a kerosang set and worn by Peranakan women to fasten their kebayas and baju panjang. At times, men would wear single star brooches on a hat or on the chest as if it were a medal during weddings. The use of brilliant cut diamonds dates this brooch to the period when modern, highly faceted diamond cutting was developed.

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Type
Costume and Jewelry 
Materials
Gold, diamonds 
Measurements
H:6 x W:6 x D:1cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Straits Settlements, Penang 
Geography
Malaysia 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
Early 20th century 
Function
This star-shaped brooch (kerosang bintang in Baba Malay) could have been worn by both Peranakan men and women. The brooch could have been part of a set and worn by women to fasten their kebayas or baju panjang, while men could have used it to decorate a hat or worn on the chest. The central element can be separate from the brooch, suggesting that it could have been worn as a button, cuff link or possibly an earring.  
Acquisition
 
Copyright
Peranakan Museum, Singapore 
Acknowledgements
Maria Khoo Joseph 
Owner
Peranakan Museum, Singapore 
Museum
Peranakan Museum, Singapore 
Credit line
 

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