Covered Jar

The “Chupu” or “Katmau” is a covered jar with no handles or side knobs. The main decorative motifs include a brightly coloured phoenix in flight amidst sprays of bright red peony blossoms. The head of the phoenix is painted in stiff pink while the body is a dark green. The wing feathers are a multitude of colours that include blue and yellow. The phoenix is an auspicious symbol that represents beauty, grace, high virtue, the bride and the empress. At the same time, peonies symbolise spring, love, beauty and good fortune. The decorative motifs are set against a rose pink and green background. The former symbolises happiness, longevity, youthfulness and innocence, while the latter represents youth and spring. The Chupu could have been used as a food container. As the third type of important ware used in Peranakan Chinese wedding ceremonies, it could be used to contain delicacies symbolic of marital harmony, such as bird’s nest soup.

Late 19th-early 20th century
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
Gross measurement: H:16.0 x Dia:12.1 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Sunny Chan Hean Kee