Inventory no.: 760

Straits Chinese or Nonya Porcelain


Famille Rose Green-Ground Baluster Vase

Malacca, Malaysia

circa 1900

height: 24.6.4cm

This baluster vase has excellent, clear provenance that dates to the 1940s, when it was acquired by an English family then based in Malacca.

The vase is brightly enamelled with shaped panels containing a single phoenix in flight over sprays of peony blooms, buds and foliage against a pink background, surrounded by a green-ground decorated with further peony blooms and foliage. The neck and shoulder have moulded felines with blue and jade-green bodies and dragons in pink with red spots. The lower part of the base has a border of brightly coloured green and pink lappets in-filled with four-petalled flowers. A yellow scalloped border is below the gilt rim.

The base has a neat

Chen Yitai Zao factory mark in red enamel.

Vases were not used in the Straits Chinese house to decorate rooms with bunches of cut flowers. Instead, pairs of baluster vases such as the example here were used on the family altar to hold flowers – usually freshly-cut chrysanthemums – meant as offerings to the gods and the spirits of the departed. They were placed on the altar with other religious objects.


Acquired in the UK from an English family from the south-west of England that was involved in managing a rubber plantation near Malacca in the 1940s.


Kee, M.Y., Peranakan Porcelain: Vibrant Festive Ware of the Straits Chinese, Tuttle Publishing, 2009; Ho, W.M., Straits Chinese Porcelain: A Collector’s Guide, Times Books International, 1983.

Inventory no.: 760


nonya porcelain.