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Beaded Leather Wedding Coin Purse
Peranakan or Straits Chinese, Straits Settlements or Indonesia
height: 11cm, width: 10cm
This fine coin purse probably would have been worn by the groom at a Straits Chinese or Peranakan wedding. Such purses are relatively rare. This example
is unusual for its double-gourd shape and for the fact that the beads are sewn onto soft leather rather than the more usual velvet.
It is decorated both sides with beadwork, with one side having a background of turquoise-coloured beads and the other a background of pink beads. Both
sides are decorated with central flower motifs.
The purse is in fine condition with no obvious losses.
Rocaille beads were made in southern France and were widely used in Singapore and the other Straits Settlements for beading slippers, wedding pillow ends,
betel set mats and other paraphernalia associated with baba/nonya culture. The Straits Chinese referred to the beads as manek potong ('cut beads') and
acquired them from street peddlers and specialist merchants for the purpose of beading and embroidery.
Cheah, H.F., Phoenix Rising: Narratives in Nyonya Beadwork from the Straits Settlements, NUS Press, Singapore, 2010.
Ee, R., et al, Peranakan Museum A-Z Guide, Asian Civilisations Museum, 2008.
Ho, W.M., Straits Chinese Beadwork & Embroidery: A Collector's Guide, Times Books International, 1987.
Khoo, J.E., The Straits Chinese: A Cultural History, The Pepin Press, 1996.
Provenance: UK art market
Inventory no.: 1702 SOLD
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