Inventory no.: 987

Straits Chinese Porcelain – Baba, Nonya


Straits Chinese Bowl or Tea Cup, Spoon & Plate

China for the Straits Market

19th century

The bowl or tea cup:

diameter: 9.5cm, height: 4.5cm

The small bowl or tea cup is decorated in pink and other polychrome enamels with a peony on one side and a phoenix on the other. The base of the interior has a small peony and the inside rim is decorated with a border that incorporates Buddhistic symbols. The scalloped rim retains much of the original gilding. The base is marked with a red Chinese ideogram ‘Xufuxin zao’, which is an unusual factory mark.The plate:

diameter: 14.5cm

The plate is enamelled with a phoenix perched on ornamental rockwork beside pink and blue peonies, framed by a pink-ground border of lotus and Buddhistic emblems. It has a scalloped, gilded rim. The is decorated with detached floral sprigs. The plate has the mark for ‘Xushunchang zao’. Overall condition is very good; there is the usual loss to the gilding along the scalloped edge.

The spoon:

length: 10cm

This fine, slender spoon is decorated with a peony and a phoenix. There is no factory or shop mark.

These three items most probably belonged to a set or sets of porcelain commissioned from China by a wealthy Malacca or Singapore

baba family for an elaborate Straits Chinese wedding.


UK art market.



The Southeast Asian Ceramics Society – West Malaysia Chapter, Nonya Ware and Kitchen Ch’ing, Oxford University Press, 1981; Ho, W.M., Straits Chinese Porcelain: A Collector’s Guide, Times Books International, 1983; Kee, M.Y., Straits Chinese Porcelain, Kee Ming Yuet Sdn Bhd, 2004; Ee, R., et al, Peranakan Museum A-Z Guide, Asian Civilisations Museum, 2008; and Kee, M.Y., Peranakan Porcelain: Vibrant Festive Ware of the Straits Chinese, Tuttle Publishing, 2009.

Inventory no.: 987


Factory mark to the base of the bowl.

Factory mark to the base of the plate.