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Peranakan Embroidered Wedding Purse (Oh Pao)
Straits Chinese People, Malay Peninsula
circa 1900

height: 13.4cm, width: 10.2cm

This fine Straits Chinese wedding purse has been decorated in fine satin stitch work. The designs include flowers, birds and other small auspicious creatures
against a dark background. Small metal spangles have also been incorporated into the design.

The reverse of the purse comprises a red velvet panel which is folded up over the top of the purse to create a loop through which a belt or sash can be
passed.

The interior comprises one pocket.

Importantly, the purse is in excellent condition. There are no losses and no repairs.

Such purses were worn by the bride and the groom and would contain token coins to symbolise hoped-for prosperity and abundance. This example most
probably was intended for a groom.

References:
Cheah, H.F, Nyonya Needlework: Embroidery and Beadwork in the Peranakan World, Asian Civilisations Museum, 2017.
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.

Provenance:
collected by Alwyn Sidney Haynes (1878-1963), and thence by descent. Haynes was a colonial administrator in Malaya and the Straits Settlements between
1901 and 1934. He held many posts including Acting British Resident, Pahang (1924); British Resident, Perak (1925); British Advisor, Kedah (1925); British
Advisor, Kelantan (1930); and Acting Colonial Administrator, Straits Settlements (1933), after which he retired and returned to England, and lived near
Stratford-upon-Avon, and then in Leamington Spa.  Haynes loaned some of the items he collected in Malaya to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford in 1939. He
was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1950.

Inventory no.: 5219 SOLD

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