This porcelain spoon comprises of a simple oval shaped scoop with a handle and gilt-edged rims. It is decorated with motifs of a phoenix in flight, its yellow ochre tail extending along the handle. It flies among pink peonies in sprays with leaves and buds. The phoenix is an auspicious symbol in the Chinese culture representing beauty, grace, high virtue, the bride and the Empress. Likewise, peonies are auspicious symbols that symbolise spring, love, beauty and good fortune. Such overglaze polychrome enamelled porcelain or Nonyaware could be part of the elaborate 'tok panjang' dinner service which refers to dining at home on special occasions. Such a dinner service could comprise several hundred to several thousand pieces of plates, bowls and spoons of varying sizes.

Late 19th-early 20th century
Kuala Lumpur, British Malaya
Gross measurement: H:5.0 x W:11.9 x D:4.6 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Peranakan Museum
Credit Line
Gift of Sunny Chan Hean Kee