Gilding the Phoenix - The Straits Chinese and Their Jewellery

Gilding the Phoenix

During the hundred years between 1850 and 1950, Southeast Asia was the site of the birth, growth and decline of a unique community - that of the Straits Chinese or Peranakans. During that time, this community found themselves at the nexus of the Chinese, Malay, European and Indian worlds, with Chinese migrants adapting to the cosmopolitan environment in which they found themselves. The story of the Peranakans and their art is told against an examination of their most valuable possessions - the incredible jewels which they commissioned for everyday and ceremonial use.