Inventory no.: 3270

Peranakan Straits Chinese Children’s Silver Amulets


Collection of Nine Straits Chinese & Peranakan Children’s Silver Amulet Boxes

Malaysia/Singapore & Java

circa 1900

length: 2.5cm-4.9cm; combined weight: 66g

Each of these nine small silver boxes is made in two halves that slide together. Small talismanic or protective items would have been stored inside. Small Straits or Peranakan Chinese children from the Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang or Malacaa and Java would have worn these to ward off evil or illness.

Some are repoussed with typically Chinese designs, one is decorated with applied filigree. Several are decorated with engraved designs. All have little eyelets at the top to allow them to be suspended from threads and worn around the neck.

Ho (1976, p. 210) illustrates an example of a similar small amulet box which he says was traditionally worn by local children to ward off evil. He attributes his example to Singapore.


Ho, W.M., Straits Chinese Silver, University Education Press, 1976.Provenance:

private collection, UK.

Inventory no.: 3270