Our catalogue > Straits Chinese or Baba-Nonya Items

Most of our clients for Straits Chinese items are based in Singapore & Malaysia. Singapore’s Peranakan Museum is among our clients.

The Straits Chinese, also known as the nonyas (for the females) and the babas (the men), as well as the Peranakan Chinese of Indonesia, are the localised Chinese who have been in Southeast Asia for many generations and whose cultures became a blend of Chinese and Malay & Javanese characteristics. They differ to the more newly arrived Chinese (referred to as the sinkeh or totoks) because of this acculturation.

The objects here were made by, or for, members of the localised Chinese communities of Southeast Asia.

All the items have been sourced from within the UK, often from old colonial-era collections, and all items are available for sale right now.

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5322

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    Straits Chinese Groom’s Double-Sided, Finely Embroidered Blue Wedding Sash

    Straits Chinese, Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang, Malacca)
    late 19th or early 20th century

    length: 197cm, width: 6.5cm

    Provenance

    Acquired by a colonial administrator in the early 20th century, and has been in England since.

    6579

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      Straits Chinese Red & Gold Floor Candle Stand

      Straits Chinese or Peranakan people, Straits Settlements, Malaysia & Singapore
      19th century

      height: 111cm

      Provenance

      UK art market

      6580

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        Straits Chinese Red & Gold Floor Candle Stand

        Straits Chinese or Peranakan people, Straits Settlements, Malaysia & Singapore
        19th century

        height (including spike): 114.5cm

        Provenance

        UK art market

        1944

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          Straits Chinese ‘Brown & Gold’ Ancestral Shrine Cabinet

          Straits Chinese community, Straits Settlements (Malacca, Penang, Singapore)
          19th century

          height: 81cm, width: 70cm, depth: 47cm

          Provenance

          UK art market

          6220

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            Peranakan or Straits Chinese Altar Front Cloth (Tok Wi)

            Straits Chinese or Peranakan, possibly produced in Java, Indonesia
            circa 1900

            height: 97cm, width: 89cm

            Provenance

            Private collection, UK; originally acquired in Singapore.

            6221

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              Peranakan or Straits Chinese Altar Front Cloth (Tok Wi)

              Private collection, UK; originally acquired in Singapore.
              early 20th century

              height: 92cm, width: 104cm

              Provenance

              Private collection, UK; originally acquired in Singapore.

              6218

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                Peranakan or Straits Chinese Altar Front Cloth (Tok Wi)

                Straits Chinese or Peranakan, possibly commissioned from China
                early to mid-20th century

                height: 93cm, width: 95.5cm

                Provenance

                Private collection, UK; originally acquired in Singapore.

                5319

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                  Finely Embroidered Straits Chinese Silk Wedding Valance

                  Straits Chinese, Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang, Malacca)
                  circa 1900

                  wdith: 175cm, length (including tassel hangings): 103cm

                  Provenance

                  Acquired by a former colonial British Resident Advisor to Kelantan in the early 20th century, and has been in England since.

                  5316

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                    Finely Embroidered Straits Chinese Silk Wedding Valance

                    Straits Chinese, Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang, Malacca)
                    circa 1900

                    width: 95cm, length; 58cm

                    Provenance

                    Acquired by a colonial administrator in the early 20th century, and has been in England since.

                    5810

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                      Glass Beaded Wedding Slippers (Kasut Manek)

                      Straits Chinese Community, Singapore, Malacca or Penang
                      circa 1920

                      length: 25cm

                      Provenance

                      UK art market

                      5315

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                        Embroidered Chinese Wall Hanging with Shou (寿) & other Daoist Deities

                        China, exported to the Straits Settlements
                        19th century

                        dimensions of backing material: 120cm x 84cm

                        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.

                        2681

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                          Inscribed Peranakan Chinese Silver Ritual Ewer

                          Peranakan Chinese Community, Java, Indonesia
                          circa 1920

                          height: 12cm, weight: 151g

                          Provenance

                          private collection, London, UK.

                          2600

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                            Straits Chinese Lacquered & Gilded Ancestral Shrine Cabinet

                            Southern China for the Straits Chinese Market
                            circa 1900

                            height: 43.5cm, width: 34.5cm, thickness: 15cm

                            Provenance

                            UK art market

                            4021

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                              Carved & Polychrome Image of Chu-sheng Niang-niang (the Goddess who Registers Births), Fuzhou Chinese, early 20th century

                              Hokkien, Teochiu & Fuzhou Chinese Communities in Southeast Asia & China
                              early 20th century

                              height: 27cm, width: 14cm

                              Provenance

                              Private Collection, Keith Stevens, UK.

                              4416

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                                Kendi with Green-Glazed Chinese Earthenware & Engraved Brass Mounts

                                Java, Indonesia
                                19th century

                                height: 21cm, width 24cm

                                Provenance

                                private collection, UK.