Engraved box: “Presented to Dr Lim Boon Keng, OBE, LLD, MB, CM, President Amoy University, by his friends and well-wishers, as a token of their esteem, Singapore, February 25, 1926”

This sterling silver cigar or cigarette box, retailed by Robinsons & Co Ltd in Singapore, was made by the London firm Henry Perkins & Sons, in 1925. It was presented to Dr Lim Boon Keng by a group of friends and well wishers in 1926. One of the leading Peranakan activists in the early 20th century, Dr Lim Boon Keng was an advocate for educational and political reforms in both the Straits Settlements and China. Like many Southeast Asian Peranakans, Dr Lim maintained cultural and philanthropic links with China. In 1921, at the invitation of Tan Kah Kee, Lim became President of China's Amoy University, a position he held until 1937. The inscription on the box makes reference to this position, and the list of friends and well-wishers engraved on the front includes notable figures such as Cheong Koon Seng, Lim Nee Soon, Song Ong Siang, and Tan Kah Kee.